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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  April 3, 2012 6:00am-9:00am EDT

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grandmother. that is not going to fly. he is dealing with something much more than irresponsible, reckless youth here. >> i think it will be interesting to see how the demographics of the protest movement change at all going forward. we have a question here in the back? the gentleman? >> thank you. you started the question -- conversation with economics, and we have not touched on the current economic problems as well as the insecurity police have. i was wondering if you could address those issues. a few. >> those are going to be the biggest challenge is in a new government for them to deal with. and economic situation -- one of the paradoxes of revolution is economic distress and economic
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deprivation, both of which have been made worse because of the revolution and the circumstances that exist today. that is a huge factor. a factor of the insecurity which is both natural when you are in a state of insurgency, but also the police were the scapegoats of what happened. see if you can deal with the situation without us. both of them, i think, are extremely dangerous. i'm sure you haven't been in egypt as much as us, but i saw frustration, violence, street fights. i was there for five days, and i saw some extremely brutal and dangerous altercations. the economy is not doing well, the tourism -- i was at the
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cairo airport. the airport was empty. the hotels were empty. with an economy that needs stability for tourism, it is going to be extremely hard. this is one of the variables i don't know how they are going to deal with it, and it could go very badly very quickly if the economy doesn't recover. if the security situation does not recover. >> exactly as rob said, the economy was not going all that great before the revolution and he it was one of those situations where you egypt was one of the imf world bank darlings. the situation on the ground was more tangible. there was more economic desperation and resentment flowing from seeing the top 7% living so well right in front of you while everybody else was so hard. from those tumbled when -- from
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those humble beginnings, the tourism is a major thing. tourism is not just seaside communities and the guys who work at the pier mitts. tourism is one of those things that extends into every aspect of the economy. that has dried up or is operating at low capacity. every time there is one of these flareups, the irony is -- as i keep saying -- street action. every time you get street violence on television, that is two months of tourism gone. it is huge. that is one of the aspects that have turned the population against the ongoing protests. the phrase that keeps popping up -- and i see it in the newspapers and i hear daily -- the wheel of production. we have to get the wheel of
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production moving. the first time i heard that, i thought it was hilarious. i thought it was a stalinist hangover. but it is important. people are listening to that, and they think the protesters are holding up the wheel of production. they think that they are holding the country hostage for their irrational demands. the economic situation is not great, and it's not getting better. the perception of insecurity is very bad. the curious thing to me is that people blame the protesters for the lack of security. i get into these debates with people. they do not blame the police for not showing up for their jobs. i have had these arguments with people in egypt where they act like it is the protesters fall. i'm sorry, i missed the part where we killed 100,000 police
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officers. they are sitting at home. why are you not mad at them? why are we not yelling at the interior minister to get these people back on the job? there is a bit of a disconnect there. yeah, it needs to aid itself fairly quickly. it is one of the larger concerns. >> i spent 10 years in poland starting in 1990. the average wait is -- wage was $35 a month. coal miners a little more, doctors a little less. they really had no choice but to start over when the system collapsed. when you had robust tourism, there still was this economic inequality and still people who could not afford to get good
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jobs after they got their degrees, with a country that is still there -- the country hasn't collapsed. you don't have an opportunity or an obligation to start over again. how do you go about rebuilding an economy not just to get the old economy back? but to rebuild so there is a wider opportunity for everybody? >> i will say a couple of things very quickly. number one, and actual genuine, sincere, enforceable anticorruption crusade -- that will make a difference. not only in that less money will disappear, but that will encourage foreign investments. i think there is a whole host of multinational corporations that are willing -- it speaks volumes about how attractive a market you should pass that all of these corporations were willing to pay the 10 to 20% corruption tax just to do business in
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egypt. those companies still want to do business in egypt if we actually reduce or take away by 50% -- which is only 10% of the money that disappears -- that would be an improvement. not taking into account the medium-sized businesses that look at egypt and say let's stay out of that. we cannot afford the corruption overhead. you can fix things in a way that brings more money in and keeps more money in the public sphere. actual tax collection. the only taxes that are collected at a multinational corporation are taken from your paycheck. income tax, not really. there are so many loopholes. i don't know the percentage that was paid, that a properly run country will have a better economic success. >> with the status quo that is
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emerging, to protest against anticorruption and tour the minister of economics to do something about reduction. there is a conflict. conscious of the fact that we only have five minutes, i'm going to take a couple questions, and then you can answer together. we have one in the back here and one appear. >> the question i have is about the upcoming -- >> i thought a recognized her. hello, mark. >> the question is $1.3 billion in military financing that honestly there is going to be a great policy debate whether we should, in fact, give it this year, recognizing the responsibilities of camp david, or if that should be used as a method with some of who are here at present to make sure that
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they keep to their commitments. is that a good enough or capable enough tool to get the attention of the staff, and you talk a lot about hosni mubarak being the pharaoh. i would be very interested in your comments about the field marshal, how he is playing with the staff, and is he the right guy to transition them out of a job? >> yes, thank you. just to continue on the team of the economy, as you know, egyptian authorities are currently discussing with the ims and other organizations on financial assistance. my question to the panel is that how do you see the role -- the potential role of the imf and other international financial
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organizations in supporting financially the egyptian transition, avoiding a crisis, and do you think the egyptians themselves are ready to accept a role for the imf and others, recalling that in june there was a package of assistance worth $3 billion that was financed subsequently been rejected by the authorities. i would be interested to hear your view on that. thank you. >> let me make a few points. on the 1.3 billion. it is interesting. i've easily the scaf has attention. >> not enough attention that it has led to scaf rever
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>> i want to thank everyone for coming. the authors will be here to stick around. they will sign books. we have the books out in the lobby. i want to thank rob and ashraf khalil for the conversation. [applause] >> thank you, everybody.
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"the new york times," "the washington post," newsweek, the guardian and the nation among
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other outlets. he is also the chairman of the foundation which is a you u.k. organization of university scholarships. a palestinian arab he lives and washington, d.c., the paris and i learn he has just flown in some from cairo so we are pleased to have him with us today. he is the author of two books, palestine and israel, peace or apartheid and the works he will be discussing tonight, the invisible arab the promise and peril of the revolutions of please join me in welcoming who 64 i'm not sure what you are doing on the one time still listening to me but i want to
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[inaudible] >> i just flew in from a 14 hour flight, 15 hour flight and i have faith, not sure what fifa is that they keep telling laura asking me to felch these evaluation forms so out of all of the people of the airplanes they always pick me to fill out the evaluation forms may be because i don't like flying or i look like i am pretty scared what they're or uncomfortable with whatever it is some of the forms are long and some of them are short. today was actually a short one but it was instructive certainly can't reminded me of a number of things i want to talk about today in the assessment of the airplane when north point of departure, you're point of a rival, they ask you how is the
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luggage, did you use anything on the way, they ask about security, they ask about to the surface, about delays, stopovers and so on and so forth. it's easy to do the check off. a rival, washington, d.c.. i think a lot of the people over the last year that i've been following in the media and especially the has been evaluating what's been going on in the arab world as if it was an assessment of a flight and always in mind par tough departure off to know where to start and everyone had in mind a point of arrival i don't know why. so egypt is not a liberal democracy, prosperous economy and so long and so forth hence maybe we should assess it didn't
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go very well or that we have project on those events in to tunisa and so on and so forth and we are all disappointed and hence we put these assessments but what has gone on in the world people's fathers and the revolution which ever way we will hopefully discuss that he would who determine as i said not as simple as an assessment of a flight, but i think that's what we've been doing. it takes patience but it also takes a bit more depth and a bit more what context, perspective, a bit more understanding of the reality of the region, and i sort of tried to do that in the
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region not just where we are at but where we are coming home from and where we are headed so the question is why is big, tried to explain why. some of those will try retroactively to explain how we got here as if they can't be explained why we haven't figured that amount and all of a sudden we have become wiser i think there's no point of doing that so that is my intent of doing that. second is the revolution to the evolution and after and that's what the book tries to do. what i've heard from some we try to do more discussions with intelligence on the bright universities like here white georgetown and divisive think you for having me here? i'm going to take the simple way
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out instead of doing a major source of physicists. i'm going to take the five main words on the cover and try to explain them to you. invisible band era arab and revolution, so 54 its, conflict. invisible invisible? there are two ways of looking at invisible, there is locally in visible and invisible to the offside world. the people of the region have been invisible. the best saying that describes this in terms of the people in the outside world is the one that says something about a falling tree makes more than a growing forest and people have been obsessing over the last ten years over the bin laden of the
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world that no one paid attention to the forest. they paid attention to 300 from a sample jihadis or suicide bombers or whichever way you want to determine them but the 300 million other soft. it is the extravaganza and we didn't, we were paying attention to the falling tree but that is a course of history. the arabs were invisible because the outside world notably the west noted in the region through the prism of oil, terrorism fundamentalism, extremism in that sense or israel and security. this was the prisons and through this we couldn't see what was going on in the world because the perspective was the israeli
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security, through national security meaning through terrorism and so long so they were not really looked at and here i am talking, i'm not talking about specialist departments such as yours sure in georgetown, i'm talking in general terms they were invisible. to the domestic scene in the region the majority of the people were made invisible either through censorship, imprisonment, anyone who had something interesting to say would never make it on state television or state newspapers and so on and so forth and most of the media was for several decades controlled by authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. so if you have anything to say
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you were invisible to the rest of the region and the rest of the people. you were imprisoned and tortured, you were intimidated, and simply you were not allowed to be heard to be seen in the arab region and an entire generation was not to be heard. and it was the subject of a discussion but never participated in the discussion. so that is the bit. so is the invisible arab. i asked a question at the beginning of the book. why are we only seeing that domino effect happening in the arab world among the arab speaking people? we have seen the inspiration, we've seen, you know, occupy a
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wall street, the arab spring saying something about inspired and enacting in their way about a macromigration but not of the revolution. that is for many if someone asked me why do you mean the arab revolution but even when you came back of course people have the local preoccupations and so on and so forth, but then something quite regional white thereof like the arab revolution why is that? i'm not lying to take long, just a couple titles about that.
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the arab consciousness as many of you know was developed in the postcolonial era with a commonality of language and grammar. they don't share the same language, they share the same political grammar if you will and was liberated from colonialism or less at the same time and developed a common political grammar and persistence to colonialism and more or less the same political grammar in terms of this trial and so forth something of a common political language and collective consciousness that emerged. the arab dictators have tried consistently to break but and
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they simply played all night. they paddled nationalism but they never of actually materialized it, they never actually cared for it and whenever it came up, it was always egypt first and jordan first get the united arab emirates to beat the emirate's first and so forth but it was by the rulers i can't think of another word for that collective consciousness, for that collective interest. played a major role since the mid 90's, the early 90's to the
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mid 90's, since the nbc of 1992 to '93, al jazeera, 95, 96. the arab media broke the ground and broke the regime's told on what people listen to and what people watch. suddenly with every satellite dish, on every rooftop, every refugee camp and every arab world made it possible for people to start materializing that political a grammar and collective language. some are the so-called reverse globalization meaning people in the region along for listen to michael jackson at the time, no longer had to watch american television or the american
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series but but turkish series. but the start watching their own. something happened since the mid 90's where people start sharing the public's sphere that became the networks where everyone can together as listeners or participants and as there were some 300, 400 made it possible to start deepening more and more of their collective consciousness in terms of their presence which takes me of promise. i start the book by sharing with the readers i wrote in the
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editorial board part of what we call the strategic planning for the network. in november, 2010, i wrote my notes about the upcoming season, and was titled hot winter. it wasn't what came about but from the perspective of november, 2010, and i shared in my notes am i memorandum if you will with the al jazeera editorial board basically looking at the region and everything looked so dark in november. lebanon was breaking up, sudan, iraq was breaking up again. iran, the potential gulf was on the verge of something new going
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down the drain. palestine was again flaring up. everywhere you looked in the region things were getting worse. yemen, somalia, so forth. things never looked as dark. after finishing the notes, i was so distressed by left and i actually traveled to china and invented something to do and went to china and japan. in december i was in china and japan which by the way is interesting than february and followed afterwards and there wasn't a word about the arab spurring or what was going on in the beginning but anyway, again, as the saying goes, though light comes after the darkest moment
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of the night. everything not so dark a new horizon opened up a generation that everyone, and here i mean everyone almost was considering a burden, a demographic burden. everyone thought of as even the enlightened ones who were answering the remarks were saying what you're doing is building a reservoir of extremists, even the ones who are trying to defend the youth are saying you're making it into a reservoir of the extremist people sociology was built with a logical framework that those are a demographic threat, but political threat, the orie
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strategic threat to their own people and to the west and most of the studies done for within that construct. i'm sure in some departments there was work being done. there is no doubt about that. but i'm saying in the overall with the general view was that the youth was a burden. this certainly surprised us. it turned out not to be a extremist if anything you are far more enlightened than their elders, they had far more interesting things to save about the present and the future and if they had more will and the capacity to effect change than anything we had seen before because.
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again, the promise was some help distilled -- please, take no -- take what i'm saying in a very innocent way if that is at all possible. it somehow was here in this city into a group of executives, which is amazing. i asked several hundred people that i met in egypt, made the point of it wasn't a pooling of the sort but asking several hundred people with the know what anyone does among the movement in egypt that was made public no one knew. the only thing we knew is there was an executive. i don't know why. and president obama made sure to mention it in his speech and a sick tree clinton made sure to mentioned in her speech. all of a sudden, this wonderful young man, 28-years-old, i'm not
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being patronizing, wonderful activist began and everything that was seen from "the new york times" and "the washington post" of the world was a wonderful westernized youth reduced to a group of executives of the sort, and you couldn't see why this was pluralistic and diverse, this was part of a bigger picture of a people with a history of the generation that made it to prison that was tortured and was part of the people's revolution of the media construct of the youth being projected from london, paris and washington. so, anyway, that promise brought
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everyone's hope up and made it almost impossible and i was one of those, i wasn't tall myself but was optimistic about everything that was going on because when you saw what they were doing in yemen, a country with 60 million pieces of weapons, personal arms could go on for several months in an upheaval in a revolution without the use of arms, when you saw the people of egypt defending a peaceful indonesia, even lydia the steps were made and morocco and the whole revolution had been done peacefully by a generation that was insisting on
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liberating themselves and broke the barrier with the regime's would no longer be deterred. anyway, that opened up into a picture that was far more complex, a reality that wasn't as dreamy and wasn't as positive as rosy as the youth, the merkel generation of the region would have wanted it to be. as much as i described this far that was common to the region as much as every country had something specific to read and of course began with libya where a very stubborn regime was going to commit major crimes against its people opening the door to the intervention of the sorts and leading to the arms conflict and of course complicating the
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picture in the beginning the process we saw in something similar happened in almost and yemen where the 2,000 were killed and certainly syria where as many of you have been watching the country could break down within over region and so on and so forth. so in the chapter that i call fasten your seat belt, of course we look at each country and the capacity of the regime's to reflect opinion on the people the so-called flood been practiced by a number of regimes it than complicating further the picture even in the country's where they had more or less peaceful transition. the transition to democracy, the transition to the different system of course opens up box, the pandora's box by those that were in prison and resisted a
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and open up to the more impoverished part of the society. seeing them and even those among them that didn't participate between the islamists and so on and so forth making major inroads in the like of egypt and to a lesser degree to nisha and we've seen more of that complicating the picture. and making the so-called constitutional liberal between big brackets, democracy and freedom becoming of course, complicated all of which takes me to the next bit about the evolution as someone has to be now on a tv program a couple of days ago why did you call it the revolution in singular and why revolution in the first place?
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i'm going to leave that to the discussion we had an al jazeera to be called a people and awakening and everywhere i go to colleagues and academics are not concerned with what is going on but they want to find it. it's important to get the definition right. what you mean awakening? it's not an awakening. you lose contact and you lose track of what is going on because you're so busy instead of looking at and protecting your own definitions i chose from the beginning and we had
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the discussions on al jazeera i was one of those for the simple fact that as many of you know in some of you might teach me about this in error of history in the arab history they are not exactly commonplace and meaning revolting against a ruler is not exactly commendable so the whole idea was sent exactly something of a positive thing. then the iranian revolution which was the sort of its own specifics of the shiite revolution in iran to bomb at a more positive connotation of change against the ruler that was tough islamic they were never excited about the revolution and those who turned out to be majority in the
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egyptian parliament and not exactly majority but major part and of course these islamists manning political islam and again, definitions we will get to that they were not excited about the revolutions. they were always about the reform. i sat down the last few weeks with the head of the two -- tunisians and asked specifically about that. even though it's happened and there's been tremendous revolution but they still consider themselves performance. i'm saying that to make the exception but i was thinking of it in terms of the revolution because for me what is common with of the world is the
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consciousness, it hasn't been trained. although saddam hussein of the world has bismarcks and some stupid and destructive way but no one really united them physically or through arms or constitutional sort or federation or confederation. 21 no one united them through the economy and specific ways we know the united nations. they are a consciousness and of the revolution we have seen across the world today in 2011 is a revolution of consciousness how that translates in reality, we will see, what will happen eventually we shall see, but i think a break with the past has happened in the region. it's a question of time for each and every country but the
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consciousness of a popular movement for major change, the major break with the past has happened in the collective consciousness. some people might have it in their mind of the bolsheviks or whoever others might have friends on the line it depends how you define the revolution and house select your going to be on your reading and you can't be doing that in the arab history so my approach to this and that's why i think -- that's why i wanted to write this because i wanted to say there are commonalities as much as there are specificities but of course i see much more and of course for that i will turn you to oliver stone's deco.
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have you seen will street, too? he says i have three words for you, read mauney book. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. that was great. this is an engaging talk and transported me on to of the empire. i'm about to open this for question but i want to note that he will be available outside for book signing at the conclusion and i would ask you to identify yourself as you ask a question, please. yes, sir. go ahead. >> my name is [inaudible] there are three things important. what makes the revolutions or
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the arab uprising first of all there is al jazeera, only al jazeera because there's no media in the arab countries only besides the government. only al jazeera. the second thing, we have the difference between poverty and hungary. [inaudible] bachelor's degree, he doesn't have a job, doesn't get him eight license. there's a difference between hungary and poverty. when i'm hungry i can do anything they want but there's a difference between poverty. the arabic language or culture they collect integrity.
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anyone who has accommodations you don't make integrity [inaudible] in the culture because line from their mix things exploited these are things that make important and also, we have to blame the media here, the western media. why? because the western media will present mubarak horror tunisa, this is the of reform [inaudible] they will fill in the of media [inaudible] aha after many years like ten years later they bring al jazeera. why? too late.
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if the integrity and accommodation and now even today, this morning in jordan 10,000 or 15,000. when you go and read what and see that corrupt king who takes millions of dollars [inaudible] if i'm hungry i'm not scared. thank you very hatch much. >> i am a student here at the center and i have a question about the role of al jazeera supporting the revolution but supporting some revolutions.
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i was wondering what your thoughts were on al jazeera's extensive coverage of the syrian crisis and the lack of coverage of what is going on. thank you. >> you say this is a revolution of consciousness that there's been a break with the past but right now it seems to be such a fragile situation certainly in egypt. what do you think is going to happen in the long term? will the young idealists prevail, will there be a democracy or will theocracy in that ruling?
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>> in the book i start of course with tunisia and egypt because there's something about how they started there and there's also something more specific about them and then of the that there's and why it was relatively more peaceful them of the others. but in both countries were tunisa the phenomena that started with tunisa and egypt and it's interesting because here we have to young people who died, killed, boreman for political reasons, have freedom.
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i don't know if you read this story but a yondah blogger and activist, are unemployed, uneducated, he was arrested, not arrested but asked for his papers, people were actually looking for him, security people in an internet coffee shop, cafe so-called in cairo, and when he refused asking who they were and so on and so forth and was coming after him, fae beat him to death. the details are gruesome but what's interesting about it, not
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anything could be interesting killing a young man is that the arrogance is that they would kill a young man in an internet cafe. you don't do that because the word is bound to get out to there were too many bloggers sitting by watching their own colleague beaten to death. in tunisa, the young man in his elementary and frustration being unemployed in his food card being confiscated and there's a story about being hit or not expose the two pillars of the revolution. political freedom and freedom from want. freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom from
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want. those were the two pillars. but there are the two pillars of what defined the commonality among the regime's are that they are authoritarian and we can get there if you want. it's important about them is that in which the era they became more expressive regimes politically and in the last decades they became the deutsch and exposed to a new liberal agenda that turn out to a wonderful open global position but corruption and their own country. so, you have the same time the total destruction of anything in the warfare state in the arab world and more and more oppressive of revolutions.
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i can talk about the duality of the washington policies and with the beijing consensus manning repressive from the past and liberalized in a way that only allows for depression. i'm not just speaking for al jazeera they have policies and on part of i'm going to be sharing inside stories with al jazeera on television. we have meetings every day, every morning, every afternoon, we have weekly meetings and monthly meetings and so on and so forth, and different voices
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are in those meetings. my own experience the last six years is that of course there had not been intervention from the top or whatever it is in our meetings and what we put on the air, but we do have disagreements within al jazeera and sometimes i myself have come out on the minority side of the decision that has been taken how much recovery and so on and so forth, but it is an open and changing a discussion among the people of al jazeera why we would cover the situation different from others, sometimes it is logistical for example now we are not allowed. we were not allowed in will bahrain and as you know our offices were closed in so many countries i can't even a remember them all. we were closing to to kuwait and
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just six weeks i think they were not allowed the syrian bahrain and so forth. of course there was a big thing made after whether we would and that sort of genetic on the web on how we covered and i actually don't know where the hoopla is coming from. especially that al jazeera english has been winning the left and center for its documentary on bahrain. it has become known in the international festivals of television and documentary's because of its documentary on of rain that the government threatened to severe relations with them. did we pay enough attention to the egyptians as the 300,000?
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probably not, probably did much more. [inaudible] know, we didn't. was their something taking a more of the sectarian by default, not by design or by design from the outside meaning 70 libya and iran perhaps. i'm not sure. with iran taking a different path than we've seen beyond that in yemen, perhaps. did we not cover it? not sure. it did recover as much as we said before? no, we didn't. was every decision we made the we covered libya and bahrain correct? i hope not otherwise we would be defined. certainly not. i think we've made a lot of mistakes to i'm not going to tell you which mistakes we've made but i think we've made mistakes and in this 24-hour peace and it's not easy to fulfil all.
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if you need me to be shorter on the answers i can it's a devotee of -- it's up to you. a long-term question for egypt, you know, ali came back from egypt i spent the last ten days in egypt, and as i was saying earlier i sat down for about an hour at the main islamist brotherhood and sat down with a number of leaders and with what i would like to think of as serious intellectuals and i sat down with the three hands on activists and so on and so forth, and my impression is egypt is going in the right direction. my impression is, and i keep telling them where pessimistic
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sometimes about how things are handled because of the way that the military council is dealing with the situation there was no evolution sometimes the certain islamist deal with the situation caliphate or not [inaudible] not a wise thing to say in egypt the general impression that i have is that there are many challenges egypt faces today that has to do with forces but are hardly space such as the generals to a lesser degree the paltrow conservative islamists. but i think they are on the defensive, and the people in
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general, and i would say the democrats in particular, the youth and i mean the ones who really want to break with a serious way forward aren't on the offensive and i want to give you one example i had thanks to the but the chance to share some of my views with the egyptian and viewers on television networks and what we are seeing people don't perhaps think of it that way is even the generals and the altar conservative islamists are sincere saying we want democracy, we want a set of constitutions and support the civic state. these really are sincere if. i'm comfortable with both because in today's era before world in egypt and tunisa come if you must shmooze democracy that's a good thing, if you must
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fly off that you really support democracy, if he lasts because i think it gives you -- it makes you more popular, that's a good thing. if it is insincere that means they think of democracy, freedom, constitution, the constitution or civic state is bigger than them even though if you can't find them together they get like 70%, but if they need to come the question of freedom and democracy they need to continue to defend themselves on the question of democracy and freedom and pacific state that means they feel the collective consciousness of the people on the question of democracy and freedom is bigger than their elect rolph, and that is a process we see in the arab world
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if you look at the graphic and if you look at the evolution of how things happen over the last year or so what you see if the military council off losing powerful, what you see is a losing power, even today the demonstrations in the square was were down with the head of discussed. they've gotten into such, you know, an acceptable level but the whole lady of deterrence and respect and the whole idea of the certain aura of the leader is, people just don't care and are not afraid.
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they express themselves and want themselves to be transitional and they do want to move towards a six state. no one is lust party and no one military generals going to be able to from now want to read what will that and i don't think at all that it will go into anything of a theological state for. egypt has made a path and will not accept the oppressive regime no matter how we refer to it or what you refer to it as and whose name it is. >> we watch al jazeera on english satellite [inaudible] >> i like very much representation in the sense of
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we will be looking forward, backward. it is a break from the past. virginia is out of the battle now and i don't think you can put it there. the other side is history. this is the fourth attempt. the first is muhammad ali. the second was the act of world war i and the city and it came with this coup d'etat this is ending command in iraq 91 and.
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[inaudible] the tv is a breaking generation. so why this radio of defeat for the first attempt i have a question that this is my first question. >> thank you for coming tonight.
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>> [inaudible] i don't want to know the connection with al jazeera i just got back and had a wonderful experience sidelight to hear your thoughts as to the protests seem peaceful in the bahrain so why is there no peace in the middle east why would they cut out there is a lot going on as to why that would occur in the west intervention and all that kind of stuff, but i would appreciate your thoughts
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>> due partly answered some of my question but i heard the other day talk about egypt and she was saying that it's not a revolution yet, it is a coup d'etat and it seems to be quite persuasive to me at this point because the army is still it seems to me to control of the ultimate power and i know you touch a little bit on that if you can expand on that. >> i asked the same question. i'm the guest here, why is it in america? i think probably cnn and fox are lobbying against it to become more popular. there was an idea before that al
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jazeera is too hot to touch by cable networks and maybe some of them have monitoring interest in it, i'm not sure what all analysts again coming in a, i'm not myself nowadays, i'm optimistic. i think we will be on the air in america soon. we are already in washington and now in new york and i think our biggest asset is not how much problem we do but it is when people watch us. when people watch us as they have been in america so you have the likes of hillary clinton saying, you know, the real journalism is not in al jazeera and the networks need to catch up. so i think if you are here, i'm not exactly flattered the state al jazeera but it will help in the distribution. and i hope we will be on the air soon in america. you know, are you familiar with
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[inaudible] he has a book, for all of you, he has a book called the optimist. saaid means have become a pessimist, optimist. it's this kind of dramatic character of the storch whereby the idea is that in of the collective consciousness of the world because of some of the stuff he touched on good news is always with bad news. and that good developments are more likely to lead to bad developments are bad results. there is always this idea that even when things get better but somehow in this middle east reality is in the most optimistic of all people
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something wrong is going to come. because of their experience. it's time to put it to the west. [inaudible] and i see the 50's as positive developments. i was using i was using my sled for an example i don't see in terms of departure or not i hope in terms of the revolution i can see where there is a constructive development that
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happened in the early part of the 18th century and the awakening these are important construction blocks if you will end the region's, and just as the postcolonial the 50's generation will be rated the land, and they did it liberate the land, the new generation is liberated the human being. in between there was a defeated a generation and a lost generation. so we had the liberation generation of the 1940's and 50's, but the defeated generation since the post cold war era and i see that in terms of the development of history and historical context.
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as i said earlier shane asked, can't mention it is in the book in the 1850's what he saw of the revolution and he said it remains to be seen. that was 100 years later that is perhaps a joke i'm not sure but said he probably said jokingly. we don't know, right. >> [inaudible] >> i'm optimistic by the way on what is happening although i am worried about this future content especially the protection we say that when you protect those in particular in the middle east of the will then
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pursued regret. so i'm not worried about this but my memory is the 40 years of libya, egypt, syria has been in the success for any contribution either you are under the rebel region or the opposition. there is no gray color. so this worries me about presence and what worries me also about al jazeera -- [inaudible] >> okay. that's fine. that's fine. >> we are in agreement. but in the sense i do see and i
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don't end with, you know, rose ziz and strawberry fields why do end with fasten your seat belts. i see that there's kling tooby -- sticking with the flight, this is going to be a lot up in the air and i see how they entered the political life in countries like libya and not starting from scratch and putting together a political party is creating a civil society of sorts, so rac that, but what i also see is that for the first time they are on the right track, and we must give that some credit. i have a lot open the idea of a new generation. i've been speaking to so many young people, and i say that in tunisa and egypt and yemen and so forth. they have a lot to offer.
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it's amazing. the new media or the satellite media or whatever it is. but i think this new generation has different ideas and it does not accepting the comings of the past. that does not mean that because, you know, there are good intentions but things are going to happen. all i am saying is that at least the region has broken with the past, the barriers of fear and now what is going to start. ..
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i like this process of establishing democracy and grooming democrats in the arab world. there is no better time to do it than now. exploiting the energy is coming out. on the question, what i was saying earlier was that from what i've seen i think we covered it like we covered other situations.r t in certain specific these likeo.
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the question of syria and we're very careful about that.s we sbe everything perhaps we should be even more careful when they cover syria, how we cover it, what does ite es mean. much is g on the question of minorities and so forth. how much does it spill over to the region? this cannot just be -- we are not a news network. we are not an ngo. there are developments in libya and syria. it is not a question of the revolution being against the machines. if you are, you should be an ngo. we are not. i don't think we are. by default, we might appear to be with revolution. as soon as you show the image of a child on a tank, the viewer, from that image, concludes that
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a child must not be very happy with the tank. by default. when you cover a correct regime -- oppression, bombardment of cities, when you lay out these images and to report that is, you are by default not on the side of the people. for example, saudi arabia and i run -- by ron are major players by design. they are major players by design. you cannot just cover that is if, okay. how much of a peaceful people are we? are we covering the story? hour that we covering the story?
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it doesn't have to have a good or happy or bad ending, but it has developments. i will say again, i don't speak for them. from within, we make mistakes. a lot of them. the way we cover news. that is normal, as long as they are mistakes and not politics. okay. i was on a radio program called one point on npr. people joined us. two things happened in egypt, i think. a revolution, and in the midst of the revolution, that is why the situation is so competent at today. we have a revolution in a
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country, unlike syria and libya, family regime is not one of the same with family and society. family regime and faith is not one of the same. when the military in egypt felt like it did, the people's power was so oversleeping. this could not stay with the royal family. the switch was against hosni mubarak. in the midst of a revolution, that is clearly what is going on. it did not happen out of the blue. it happened over the evolution of revolution. at the beginning, people were saying this is a great military, this is descending the
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revolution. there were some gains for a short time, that is over now. what does that mean? here is another nuance. egypt is a country of institutions. egypt is not going to let go of its military, it is not going to give up its military establishment. it cares very much about its military establishment. its military plays an important role. the question is how the nuance or how to distinguish between the guardian of the country and the generals that are associated with [inaudible] and those who cannot associate with the military change. that is where the egyptians are
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dabbling. how to make sure they guard their military establishment. they need that in the future for their own sovereignty. at the same time, being able to move a young and put the generals back where they belong in the military offices and in the military bases. out of the economy and public life of the country. my sense is the military is on the defensive in such a way that it keeps -- it keeps explaining why it just needs -- the future just cannot guarantee freedom from prosecution, if they can keep some of the generals, not
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even the government is going to be part of this. a new one is going to come. if they can open the way to the presidential elections -- the military is on the defensive. i agree there was a coup d'état. i think now evolution will overcome the generals. >> i'm going to leave some time for the book signing, but i wanted thank our speaker for being here today. [applause] >> coming up on c-span2 this morning, a feminist majority foundation discussion on women in politics. and by 8:30 a.m. eastern assistant fbi director's in
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charge of counterterrorism and cybersecurity speaking at the government security conference. than live at 10 a.m. eastern, a look at the social security disability program. >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights, watch key public policy events. every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website. you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> the feminist majority foundation hosted a forum last week in washington on the 2012 elections. one discussion focused on ballot measures around the country.
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>> this next forum is called coming to a state near you, round up of ballot initiatives and voter suppression efforts. you've heard a little bit today already about some of these so-called personhood initiatives that are going to be on state ballots. we have some of the leading experts to tell you a little bit more about where those are happening in the impact that those can have. you are also going to hear about the drive for equal marriage, both in states where we are expecting anti-equal marriage initiatives to be put on the ballot, as well as literally a couple states where we are putting our initiative on the ballot. to win back equal marriage. and then you also hear about the ongoing fight for workers rights, some very critical elections in this country
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revolve around winning back the rights that have been so terribly compromised under these extreme, conservative state legislators and governors that came out of the 20 elections. we are never going to let that happen again. so, i'm going to now introduce the moderator for this next panel. duvergne gaines is the coordinator of our campus leadership program, also an attorney who works with our national clinic violence project to stop the antiabortion extremist attacks on clinics all across the country. so please welcome duvergne gaines, and hold your questions to the in. will have time for more q&a. >> thank you, kathy. hello, welcome. [applause] >> on to the next plenary session. thank you for sticking it out with us. yes, we are indeed right now
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talking about ballot measures and stopping the war on women. and what's on deck in 2012, with respect to these measures. ballot measures present an interesting opportunity for us. their use by our opponents to create division, and we capitalized on that, unite our movement, and fight back and win. there's a lot going on. we have a distinguished panel here to talk about antiunion initiatives, anti-choice and personhood initiatives. i'm going to briefly speak about voter identification measures, and amendments that have been passed, in addition to anti-marriage equality and anti-lgbt initiative across the country. we are -- it's been interesting last two years with respect to voter identification which is i think a good way to perhaps take
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off this plenary session. last fall i was in mississippi working side-by-side with megan darby and planned parenthood and -- wherever active on college campuses throughout the state working to defeat an initiative 26. that was the personhood initiative that made it to the ballot in mississippi. yes, that was a huge victory. [applause] i don't want to steal americans under because actually i will post a little bit about what happened in that particular battle, and the incredible effort that planned parenthood and the aclu and other groups, special planned parenthood put into that victory. coupled with our work on the college campuses. we were 31 points behind two months out before the election. 31 points. we literally, i know planned parenthood put up offices, campaign offices overnight. i mean through the mud. it was literally a astonishing. and the incredible grassroots
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movement that took place in that state. i think it was something like, oh, thousands and thousands of phone calls that were made, over 412,000 phone calls made within a four-week period. 20,000 doors were knocked on, and mississippians said no, we are not stupid, we know that this is misogynist and we are not going to change and amend our constitution. this is a crazy person initiative. we defeated that measure by 10 points in the end, i would like a little round of applause of there. thanks. [applause] it was a tremendous effort. but, unfortunately, we lost when it came to a voter identification measures that was on the same ballot. voter identification measures are out to disenfranchise millions of americans, and we saw 80 nasty proliferation in 2011 a voter identification measures nationwide. i think over 34 measures were
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introduced across state legislators across the country in 2011. and there's at least 32 that have been introduced in 2011. and many of them have passed. it's interesting that states like texas past, wisconsin, south carolina, and many of these states are subject to preclearance under the voting rights act because of bad behavior in the past in terms of discrimination. so they are actually subject to preclude by the u.s. department of justice. guess what? they are not getting it because we know that these are racist, sexist laws. they're designed to disenfranchise voters. how are they designed to disenfranchise voters? well, if it is required in a state issued photo identification like a driver's license, if you're elderly, over 75, most individuals do not have photo identification anymore, especially driver's licenses.
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if you're a student, you won't have the same address as your voter identification, azure driver's license because you're moving constantly from one year to the next in your dorm, out of state. in addition, if you are on a person of color, many places were seeing what i would call polling location racial profiling. you are only asked for identification if you're a person of color. so it sort of a selective bias and disenfranchisement that would. not to mention the fact what we see in certain areas there's people of color less likely to have photo identification, photo ids, compared to the white counterparts. or disabled individuals to individuals who can't go down to the dmv at the drop of a hat to get a new strict photo id that now is required in this day. so there's really i think it was best said that voter i -- voter fraud is about as commonplace as
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being struck by lightning. so this is a complete ruse, and we must fight back and make sure that we all have the opportunity to vote. and we will. and i'm happy to say, voter identification law was found unconstitutional. as i said, much of this is being enjoyed in the courts or the department of justice is saying no, we know what you're doing, we know this is a pull back, or another method of discriminating against segments of the population. so hopefully we will win and make sure everybody gets to that ballot box this november, and in the primaries this spring. and i just wanted to briefly talk about that. before i go on to introduce, and i think i will start with making, because i mentioned mississippi, and she is here to talk to us about all a bit about what they did there. i think megan your the deputy
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director of the mississippians for helping families campaign, which was a main statewide campaign to defeat an initiative 26. we the feminist majority foundation worked with students across the state through the students voting no on 26 campaign, and megan is currently, i should get this correct, because i know it's a mouthful so i want to make sure i have a correct. ballot initiative and opposition research manager at planned parenthood federation. she has worked all of the country, understand on ballot measures, including prior life with asked me, working to defeat antiunion initiatives, and please welcome to the stage now megan darby. [applause] >> hello. thanks for having me.
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i'm here to give you an overview of the anti-choice initiatives that are on the ballot this year that we think are going to be on the ballot, and is on a watch list, what has been defeated so far. but starting of i did not the opportunity of spending nine in mississippi last year, as a life-changing, a little tiring, and a little surreal when i think about it now. because we had such a huge victory. we were 30 points down about three weeks away from election day. and about i would say five days before the election, independent poll came out the address one point down but 11% of people were undecided. so this was really decided in the ballot box that day. we were very fortunate that we not only one, we kind of crushed it. [applause] but as we mentioned, unfortunately that wasn't the case of voter id that was
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initiative 27 that you'd. was interesting to note is that an initiative 26 which is the person initiative that i will be talking more detail on saturday at the campus gathering, if you guys are around, initiative 26 was the least voted on an initiative of all the three. this was an untraditional ballot initiative state meaning it was only used a couple times before for votes on if they should keep the confederate flag on their state flag, and a gay marriage ban. so this was untraditional get it wasn't an off year in mississippi because all their state offices were up. and then is now the governor was a huge supporter of personhood. so what we really did and what we are thankful for all of you who helped, we created a climate where people could talk about this and where people have doubts and where people were given permission to be pro-life. because they are in the state of mississippi. and be against person or.
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so i think we were the least loaded on because we did create a culture of doubt that some people were not comfortable voting now, but they definitely were not comfortable putting this into law. and i'm happy to report that they did try a couple maneuvers in the state legislators this year to try to get person to back up and running, and it has been defeated. so we will not see personhood in mississippi for at least a couple more years. [applause] so let me transition into what we definitely will be seeing. and i'm going to start out in the state of north dakota. on the june primary, june 12, there will be a religious liberty ballot initiative. it's a very broad, wide-based initiative that will legally make it that you can't discriminate based on your religion. it can go as far as birth control refusal or denying a muslim couple to run -- grant an apartment that you are the landlord for. there is an open senate seat.
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so that's the first one. obviously organization and nobody in this room does not want discrimination and especially with the refusal that we're still going through actually this is something that we will be watching. now, moving on to florida, there is a privacy and public funding ban. this was place on by the florida legislator last year. what this basically does, public funding will deny public funding for abortion. we don't know, we're still exploring what this really means, but this also could impact public employees private insurance because technically it's paid for by public funds. it could take away abortion care from private insurance people that are employed by the state. and also there is a little provision. the florida privacy in the constitution is actually stronger than the united states constitution. they would like to repeal it to the united states standards. what does this mean?
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because honestly the first time i looked at a i was like, what? we stop a lot of things because of strong privacy laws in florida. so repealing it would open the door for a lot of things that might not necessarily get very far because of the protection in their constitution. so this will be happening in november. another thing that will be happening in november, in montana is parental notification. this was again put in by the state legislature so we only have one citizens revenge initiative that is on the ballot now out of the three. montana last year, the state legislators passed a parental notification bill and send it to the governor who is 100% pro-choice, and they said this is what we're going to do. you veto this, we pass something else that will throw constitutional a member on the ballot next year so your sign this or we fight at the ballot box. now we have parental
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notification in montana. so those are the three. here's what we think is probably likely in november. i'm sure you have heard personhood is back in colorado. it is. as you know, 2008 it was defeated, overwhelmingly, and in 2010 they gained three points. still defeated overwhelmingly. after the victory, keith mason of personhood u.s.a. who is the leader, put out a press statement comparing himself to susan b. anthony -- [laughter] in her campaign for women's suffrage in south dakota. and like her campaign, that was unpopular at first, but slowly started again and slowly start again, you will come back and fight for the unborn. and anyone who does this work, it's very the money that colorado, it's an easy to get the ballot initiative on.
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it's a very low threshold. what they did this year is that they rewrote the title, so before mississippi this is what i do call -- just the basic language, life begins at conception, life begins at fertilization. and what they found themselves, because colorado is a little bit more pro-choice than mississippi. so what they found themselves in mississippi, they were not prepared for, was talking about ivf and talking about birth control. so they decide that they're going to start making these hybrids. so they did one, and it wasn't action one of the most extreme, a pretty basic one. person applies to every human being regardless of the method of creation, a human being is a member of the species homo sapiens at any stage of development. so there was a challenge to ballot title, and that was lost. when it was lost it was appealed to the state supreme court, and that was lost. so last week of personhood
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u.s.a. kicked off their petition, their signature drive at members planned parenthood health centers across the state of colorado. so we do expect to see that and we probably won't know until the sum. another one that we do expect to see is a public funding ban in oregon, and like florida, the basic no public funding for abortion. but unlike florida, oregon is where the only states that does get public funding for abortion. this was tried two times before. in 1978, and in 1976. this wasn't the first time they've seen the fight and expecting to see it again. it is backed by oregon's right to life which will organize in their state. so we should know in july. and begin we're unsure what the implications will be for public employees to have insurance if this will cut their care also. so i'm briefly going to go over my watchlist, and this is things
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that have been filed, things that have been moving that we're unsure of what the future will be. so the first is parental notification in california. this is the fourth time. this was defeated in 2005, 2006 and 2008. they have filed multiple initiatives this year. so when one expires there's already one that can keep on going. they have done this up until june, and we expect this because they're not as organized as they were in the past and they are trying to gain time to get the funding in the organization to collect signatures. another one is religious liberties in colorado. this was just filed by focus on the family. this has gained a lot of are the media. and right now they're waiting for the state to prove the title and the language, and i'm assuming when that happens that there will be multiple groups that will be trying to appeal not only to the state title board but to the state supreme court to try to stop it. another what is personhood in
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montana. they have tried to put personhood on montana three times. the coalition partners there've always done a very successful decline to sign campaign. they do this around the primary because in montana, that around the time that people are collecting signatures. they can go to polls, they can talk to people as they're going in and out, so that's always kind of in a strategy that has worked in the past. this year though, cal zastrow, who is the cofounder of personhood u.s.a., moved to montana last year and has made it his mission to make sure that person that gets on the ballot in montana, and he actually sometimes it's the only person collecting signatures in some places in the state. so we have an eye on that. personhood in nevada, and assure everyone here has seen some press about this, so in the span of months, five separate titles by two separate groups were filed and four withdrawn in the
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state of nevada. so what they would be doing, efforts of all, may i back up to the two groups were not getting along. so one would lead a press release saying we are the troopers and, get get him at a press release and say no, we are the true person and. and so, great. my theory is okay, great. so they would file an forward storm. this is what would happen. someone would go and appealed and tried to start the process to make sure this didn't make not about what they would do is wait until the complaint was public, with draw and use that complaint to strengthen their language. so after this happened three times, the aclu and planned parenthood you in the state were working together to help with a lawsuit, decided they were no longer going to help the opposition strengthen their language. so took a couple weeks. i think they were a little in shock. they were kind of like oh, where's the lawsuit? when that didn't happen, chuck gallagher, who is one of the groups that pushes these
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initiatives in the state, he was a police officer once upon a time and was called to a clinic, someone was blocking access for a patient and refused to get involved because of his religious beliefs. he withdrew his petition and he has thrown his support in personhood nevada, and that's the other group that was there to personhood initiative in the state, so we are waiting to see what signature collection will look like. and the interesting thing about nevada is if this does get on the ballot and it does pass, they have to do it again in 2014 for it to become law. personhood in ohio, i think you guys are probably noticing a trend. this was filed, again, state challenge the title, lost. again, appealed to the state supreme court last week that appeal was denied. and they have been fully collecting signatures across the state. the interesting thing about ohio though is that if i'm a
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registered ohio voter and i signed the petition, and it's not submitted in 2012, my signature could be used to be submitted at a later date. so they could use 2012 and them being a swing state, to build up their petition signatures. because they have and to about july 4 to collect over 385,000 signatures. so we are not sure we will see it this year, but it could be a possibility for an off year like 2013 or 2015. personhood in oklahoma. oklahoma is although eye of the storm right now. i'm sure you've all seen the revamping of the personhood bill in their legislator. this did pass the senate overwhelmed. i think only four people voted against it. it was during the time of the virginia ultrasounds. so it quietly went away because there was a lot of outrage, and i don't think the people of oklahoma wanted that outrage on them, too.
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it kind of came back but not only is it legislation on marc march 1 personhood in oklahoma filed a ballot initiative again, personhood classic language, life begins at conception, and they said they will file three. so we're unsure what that looks like yet. we're unsure if this is another nevada situation where they wait until there's a challenge, with draw, use that challenge to strengthen their language and try again. i think you have a kind of high threshold for oklahoma for signatures to gather. and a fun fact, rick santorum signed the personhood of oklahoma initiative in tulsa a couple weeks ago. and it is being used for earned media and for fund-raising bike personhood oklahoma. he is a supporter of personhood. personhood oregon, again basic language. we are kind of sure this is
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going to make the ballot issue. they have tried multiple times but just to give a little bit of reference, in 2010 personhood u.s.a. tried to get personhood on a balance. they only got it on one. so, you know, it's pretty easy to find language, for ballot initiatives, and pretty easy to get a lot of attention, especially in states that don't usually do ballot initiative. so what kind of makes us ground, but oregon is one of the places with a filed person a but we don't think we will really see much. some good news, is that there has been failed attempts this year to get on the 20 about. so here what they tried and what did make a. personhood and alaska, application was denied flat out. personhood in arkansas, they have tried twice in the past, month, month and have to submit a ballot title and summary. for personhood to circulate in the state, both times the attorney general has rejected it overwhelmingly because first
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decision was 22 pages long. is second with 18. personhood arkansas has submitted a new ballot title by the submitted to a local television station. [laughter] they have not submitted to the governor yet, and we're pretty sure that with a 22 page decision and 18 page decision this attorney general is not leaving a lot of room for this to start circling in his state. personhood in california's recent expire. we didn't see any signature collection, and a group who was circulating it had a press statement right after they submitted their title saying, we are not associated with personhood u.s.a. personhood in florida, now i think a couple people in the room have been one in wiping bring a personhood in florida. the ballot initiative title for 2012 in florida on personhood has expired. in florida you need, i think you need to pay 10 cents a signature or something to submitted to y you. and they were having
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fund-raising challenges, and also think signature challenges. so they withdrew 2012 before it expired and submitted it 2014. so they are actively fund-raising and doing earned media and signature gathering for 2014 but they won't be on 2012. last but not least, stop the baby skull crushing and decapitation in north dakota. this was supposed to be a ban on tools used for abortion, and i don't think i need to tell anyone that the title of this really hurt them. [laughter] i don't think people are very comfortable with it. so that's my quick and dirty of what the ballot initiatives are, but i do want to bring up one thing i was think that whenever the other panel was talking about rick santorum, newt gingrich and edwin has signed the personhood but mitt romney hasn't.
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he went on the mike huckabee show, and mike huckabee has produced a movie on personhood. he is a huge supporter on personhood. when we lost our appeal on personhood he had a fundraiser in jackson, mississippi. asked him, support a constitutional amendment of personhood on a federal level? and mitt romney said absolutely. so with that -- [applause] >> thank you, megan. i appreciate. what's frightening to know and having been in mississippi, campaign, how many of these personal initiatives are being promulgated by some of the most extreme antiabortion leaders in the country. i may, they are not just, you know, quote unquote pro-life individuals. some of them have ties to the army of god, like patrick johnston in ohio, and other
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individuals in the army of god, is one of if not the most violent antiabortion extremist organization in the country. individuals linked to bombings, murder, mayhem, unabashedly so have been involved with the army of god and called, been proud of that association. anyway, so thank you for that. and on that happy note, we are now going to go, i would like to introduce merry at the english who is here joining us today. mar yet it is the vice president of the american federation of teachers. she is all so -- [applause] >> teachers, yes. equal access to education, good. she's the president of the baltimore teachers union you have so made titles. i tried to pick and choose them. i just have, this is a short version. she's also the president of the
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american federation of teachers in maryland, and she's the past president of metro baltimore alliance black school educators, and the current board member. and i believe, unicom we're sold throughout you to join us today to talk about the antiunion initiatives that, of course, swept the nation as well, and to celebrate her as a labour leader and and tireless fighter for working conditions for teachers throughout the country. thank you. please welcome marietta english. [applause] >> thank you. thank you for this opportunity. they are is an antiunion movement across this country. i'm not going to talk about initiatives but i will talk about some of that. the attack on unions that represent women as an attack on women. when wisconsin's governor, scott
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walker, the administration targeted teachers, unions and nurses unions, they exempted the male dominated firefighters and police unions. you know, so that was definitely an attack on women, and this policy on attack on women has permeated throughout wisconsin. but what he did was wake up the sleeping giant. .. >> have political voice.
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that's -- we organize in these unions and have a voice in the workplace, and we also have a voice politically. and these other systems are male-dominated, and i know when i go into a lot of boardrooms because i do have a lot of titles, most of them are filled with men. we can -- if i count the women on one hand who sit in those boardrooms. we look around education, a lot of the superintendents who run these systems are men, but the actual work is done by women in the classroom. mitt romney tells us that contributions from unions to plett call cam -- political campaigns are a form of corruption. [laughter] that may imply that individuals who organize are corrupt and unpatriotic. oh, my gosh. but when the business band together and they make huge
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contributions now thanks to the supreme court ruling that you can make unlimited amount of contributions, well, that's commerce. [laughter] that's a way of building business. the political attackers want to devalue our voice by calling us names, and they do that all the time. in the health care area, it is difficult to organize at least private sector nurses and health care workers, and it's really harder to organize in public sector also because these are, basically, dominated by women. and it's very hard and difficult. such places as oakwood health care in upstate new york where employers have tried to circumvent bargaining rights by giving nurses charge and responsibilities and calling it supervisors. but yet they still work as nurses.
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and, of course, in teaching i can tell you that for the last few years teacher unions have been bashed all over this country. teachers have been blamed for everything from why the grass doesn't grow to our children is not achieving. and every time you hear people like michelle rhee who hasn't taught by two minutes blame teacher, i can tell you that without teacher unions we are not the cause of children not achieving. we are not that cause. it is policies that keep children from achieving. we know the answers. no one ever comes to the teacher and say, what should we do, what policies or grades?
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what should we do? we know the early education helps children to achieve, and yet those are not mandated programs. those are funds that get cut right away. those are programs -- we know that children need art, music, phys ed to be a whole child, and yet when the decisions come to be made, let's cut those programs. and then when children underachieve, oh, it must be the teachers' fault. there must be this -- it's that old teachers' union that keeps pad teachers -- bad teachers in the classroom. well, no teacher union wants to keep bad teachers in the classroom. teachers' unions only want to make sure that everyone has a right to to due process. it's not about keeping bad teachers in the class room. the american federation of teachers has a excellent,
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dynamite president in randi weingarten, and she is leading the country -- yes, she is. give her a hand. [applause] in initiatives that will bring together businesses and education to help achieve. we have a program in west virginia where she's brought together the commitment, businesses, the communion to help turn that community around. we are, if you talk with the teachers' unions, we will lead you the right way. but yet they want to bash and blame us for all the ills of society. our union in baltimore, we have just negotiated one of the most innovative contracts in this country. where teachers are now being, have a voice about their own career, how fast they will move
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and whether or not they'll move up one lane to another, from one pathway to another. given our expertise, i know i've been teaching for a long time. i could probably teach this paper how to read. [laughter] but nobody comes and asks us what are the things that we do. there's always a lot of money pulse in to program -- put in to program, and then the program comes and goes. are there any teachers in the room? [applause] you know what i mean. they bring a program in, have it for a couple of days and then, oh, it doesn't work, let's try something different. and then we get blamed when it doesn't work. right now high-stakes tests are governing our whole existence. and yet we don't have a part in developing those tests.
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our children sit for hours, i look -- we're in right now the maryland state assessment, and these little 8-year-olds are taking these tests for hours, and, i mean, it's really, really sad because i can't sit here for hours without having to get up. and yet we expect this of children. i wonder if some of these people were sitting in these boardrooms making decisions have any childhood studies or have any childhood understanding. they should understand that teachers can't do this alone. it takes the whole community. it takes the whole community to help educate these children. i know i raised two children, and when my son was in the eighth grade, i thought he would die. i didn't know if he'd make it to the ninth grade. but you keep working with them. you keep working with them, and now i'm proud to say that he's a wonderful teacher. but it takes everybody to do this. it took the school, it took me,
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it took the community, having him involved in activities. but you can't just blame us, and you can't just blame teacher unions. because if you come to us, we have the answer. they like to attack workers who want to organize, and those workers, their jobs are undervalued. but what i can say is that the more they're attacked, the more we will rise. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, marietta. it reminds me of what dolores huerta who's a co-founder of the united farm workers and our board member says, you know, you definitely -- she has the anecdote, i think, used to say which was, you know, if you're -- you've got a bad man running around threaten things
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like a dog or a horse, you shake a stick at a hive of bees, and they'll think twice because those bees are organized. and i'm totally, brutally slaying that particular metaphor, but it's a wonderful, wonderful example. [laughter] next, i'd like to introduce a wonderful -- final -- distinguished speaker, rea carey, who is the executive director of the national gay and lesbian task force. rea took over the task force in 2008 and has provided some truly visionary leadership for the organization. during her tenure the task force has accomplished many things, far too many to list. i, too, one of the biographies i read, i was just had to pick and choose. but one of them i thought particularly noteworthy is the passage of the lgbt inclusive
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federal hate crime protection act which was a huge victory. [applause] yes. many anti-lgbt ballot measures across the country and playing a vital role in getting the united states census for the first time to count same-sex couples counted in the 2010 census, which is pretty massive. we have in addition to online leadership academy and many other innovations. i know she has to leave soon, so i want to make sure we get her up here. so, please, welcome rea carey. [applause] >> you know n true women's fashion, i won't rush through, but i do have to go pick up my daughter from school, so i thank the teachers for teaching, and i actually know she would like to be here today. she loves a good party, and she's a little activist, so i'll tell her all about you. and i do want to thank the
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feminist majority. you have been incredible partners in the pursuit of equality, and i know we will continue to work together, and i just want to thank all of you for being part of such an organization, that we at the task force consider to be a sister. so thank you. and finally, before i get into my remarks, i do want to dedicate them today to audrey and rich, a poet, a fighter and a feminist. [applause] i'm just, i'm going to talk about three kind of general things, determination and destiny, love and voice. first, determination and destiny. we together as a progressive movement, and i happen to be in an organization that focuses on lgbt issues, but we consider ourselves, first, to be a progressive organization in how we work on equality and how we work on racial and economic justice. we are determined to win
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marriage equality nationwide. [applause] and we believe that it is our shared destiny to do so. and we've made progress, thankfully. this year doubling the number of people who can actually get married in states across the country by adding new york state to the list that has approved marriage equality. [applause] so we're pleased about that. um, but as i was thinking about spending time with you today, i wanted to talk very much about how our movement, which definitely overlap so i want to make that point, but how our movements, the feminist and lgbt movements are intertwined, our destinies are intertwined. and, in fact, we have much to learn from even other. i've been spending not only my whole life learning from the feminist movement, and my mother is a feminist and my grandmother
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is a feminist, but also studying what happens to our movements. for example, in 1973 when roe v. wade went through the supreme court, the polling on public, the public polling on whether or not a woman could have an abortion in the first trimester was at 53%. 53% when we won roe. i don't need to go through everything that has happened since then in defending roe and defending everything else that has to do with freedom for our own bodies. as many of you know, we have a number of legal cases that are specifically on marriage equality that are barreling towards the supreme court. barreling towards the supreme court. a number of them may get there very soon, within the next couple of years. the polling on marriage right now is at 53%.
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[applause] familiar, huh? [laughter] so it is amazing, right? ten years ago we weren't even close to 53%. but it's a cautionary tale. and as i sit here with you today and fight on the lines with you in virginia where they are taking away public funding for access to health services for women and in places across the country, 40 years later after roe went through the supreme court and we are looking at the same percentage if we don't do much more as an lgbt movement and as a broader progressive movement to get that number up, to talk to our friends and family and get way beyond 53%, i know that we are staring at history repeating itself. and i don't want to repeat that history. federally, we do have to overturn the so-called defense of marriage act. i do want to, i do a piece of
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education, and we're working towards that. i could spend lots of wonky time telling you about that which i'm not going to do. many of you are familiar with it. but we do have to overturn the defense of marriage act, and we're move anything that direction. but i have to take a moment to educate on one point which is that when we overturn the so-called defense of marriage act, it does not mean that we have access to choose to get married across the land. it doesn't. there are 29 states that have constitutional amendments that say that i can't marry my partner, right? so we have to get rid of doma. but we have to make progress in the states. we have to fight off more constitutional amendments that are headed our way, and we have to overturn those that already exist. and at the same time as fighting the federal doma, overturning things in the states, as i said before, we've got a lot of legal
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cases going. and i think sometimes people say, well, surely there's going to be a silver bullet. one of these cases will go through and wipe the whole thing out. well, that would be nice, but i just don't see it happening that way. the way i see it, it's like an arcade game. have you ever seen that pony game where the ponies are running across, and you're throwing bean bags? all of those ponies are moving, all of those horses are running to the finish line of marriage equality, and we will get there, but we have to get every single horse across the finish line, and we need your help to do it. [applause] but as arlene spoke earlier during a luncheon, our faiths are tied together particularly on ballot measures. we've just heard just two sets of ballot measures. we're not even talking about anti-affirmative action. if you do an overlay of the country, you'll see very clearly how our fates are intertwined. so we must show up for each other. it's why at the task force in
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2011 we sent our organizers not just to alaska where in just a few short days we're facing a ball or the measure on -- ballot measure on nondiscrimination, but we also sent our taffe to mississippi -- staff to mississippi, to maine to secure the vote for people in maine, and we sent our staff to build a base of anti-death penalty voters for a future fighting california. all of those issues effect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. they are our issues. so i invite each of you as we look towards 2012, pick something. pick something that opportunity opportunity -- that doesn't necessarily have to do with your life and show up, write a check, participate in a phone bank, volunteer for a campaign, reach out and bring someone with you. and next time ask them to come and work on something that does effect your life directly. i believe we will make a difference.
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second, i want to talk about love. i may, i am definitely a half glass full girl, and i do believe that love will win out. and at the heart of the lgbt movement is love. started thousands of years ago but more recently at the stonewall inn in new york city where a bunch of drag queens and gay men, sissy boys and people of color said, enough. we will love who we want to love, and we will fight for it. and i believe that love will win out. and i have great hope for this, in the future of love, in the future of our ability to marry each other in states like maine where we can make history this year, where they are putting the first proactive marriage measure on the ballot, and we need all of your help to win. this will make history. it'll be the first time we've ever won on a proactive marriage ballot measure.
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[applause] i have hope in the future in particular because of children. we have a young daughter, element i school, and when margaret and i got married in the brief window of time with 18,000 other people in 2008, we went out to california, our daughter came with us. she was telling her friends, and we prepared her for what her friends might say. because we didn't know, right? two women getting married. and it was fascinating because, first of all, they already thought we were married. [laughter] we have a house, a kid, we even have a dog. we drop her off each day, sometimes we forget her lunch, we've got to run it over. we were married to these elementary school children. and when they found out that we had to get married, many of them congratulated us, and the only negative comment was from one of our daughter's friends who was very jealous that she got to be a flower girl, and that was it! that was it.
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[laughter] but i'm reminded we have a long way to go. because at the same time we were driving through virginia, my daughter and i, she says to me: can people get married in this state? and i really didn't know how to answer because i don't think that any child in this country should have to ask if her participants can get -- if her parents can get married. that should not be a question on the lips of any child in this country. and to the high school students in this room, i promise you we are doing everything we possibly can so that this will not be your fight when you are 45 years old like i am. you will be fighting for something else, and we will stand with you. but we will not have marriage be your fight, i promise you. [applause] and finally, our voice.
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this has been touched on a number of times today, but we must make our voices heard, and right now we are facing a huge threat in voter suppression. it is the number one threat. i know i'm supposed to talk about marriage, but i wouldn't be from the task force if i didn't want push the envelope a little bit. so voter sup possession, you know, it's literally out of the jim crow playbook, some of the stuff that's going on, right? we have to fight voter suppression. and if you look at where our ballot measures overlap in states across the country, guess where we're seeing ballot measures? in all of the states where our issues are at play. what is true is that it used to be possible to mobilize the right-wing base on hating the gays, anti-women ballot measures, anti-immigration ballot measures,
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iept-affirmative action ballot measures. and what's happening in this country is no one of those are their trump cards anymore. they are losing. they are losing, they are losing. and so what do they do? they have to go deeper than that. they have to strike at the very ability for us to cast our vote. that is offensive, it is anti-democratic, and we must stop this threat to democracy in our country or none of us are going to win. [applause] i believe that we can stand together, and -- because i've seen it before again and again. many of you have shown up for us and our fall hes, and i will -- families, and i will show up for you. i promise, we will continue to do that. but we have to stand together. there are far too many forces at play to tear us apart. so let's stand together, let us save this democracy, and let our
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voices be heard. thank you. [applause] >> um, i'm hoping we have time for some q&a now. so we have some mics, i believe. help me point them out. they're on some tables, oh, yes, the people who are lining up. oh, yes. please, go ahead while we have our wonderful panelists. >> okay. hi, everyone, my name is melanie keller, and i'm part of the unite women team, the maryland chapter, so if everyone could come out and rally with us on april 28th in every state. and i just have a question. maryland is a pretty blue state, and looking at the congressional voting records that were passed out the previous forum, you can see senator babs -- barbara
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mikulski has a 100% record. with everything that's going on in like oregon, montana, texas with the ultra or the transvaginal ultrasound bill, what can states like maryland do, what can voters and residents do to help out from the sidelines, i guess? because it's easy for us to sit back and rest on our laurels. because in our state things are relatively okay. >> that's a great question. so -- sorry. so, um, i guess the first thing i'd tell you is, you know, educate and talk about it. that is the most powerful thing you can do. to go back to mississippi be, we were very fortunate that not only it picked steam up nationally because people were outraged and they knew about the issue and talked about it. i mean, i could tell you facebook feeds were just full of talk about mississippi. and that's how it really gets the ball rolling, and, um, that
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really can help. i also would say donate because everything, this is an expensive fight everywhere. and i would also say, you know, locate the people that you think are working on the issue, and call them and say what can i do? and we have a phone in to texas day. whatever you can do. but number one, talk about it and make sure people know about it because a lot of times they don't. >> can i -- >> oh, please. >> -- weigh in on that? so i think we kind of heard that from the mom that you could do a lot with the internet now because you can talk to people all over the country just by using the internet. i know i'm from maryland, too, and we send people to pennsylvania, to virginia to do labor walks, so we know there are problems in those states, so maybe even doing labor walks in states where you know you have a problem. >> i also want to throw the
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feminist majority foundation's two cents in here. i am one of the campus directors for the choices campus leadership program, and this election year we're putting a call out to all college students, recent high school graduates. if you feel like interning with us or planned parenthood or the national gay and lesbian task force, all of us, we are going to be active especially, um, battling these initiatives. colorado, california, um, all across the country. if you want to intern with us and take a semester off from school this fall and have the experience of a lifetime, we do encourage you. and i'm happy to speak to you after this plenary session. or go to maine and work on passing marriage equality. but these are opportunities that could be available for you here now in addition to the world of cyberspace which can sort of put you everywhere now. thank you. [applause] oh, sorry. yes. >> i actually do not have so much of a question, but a
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comment. i want to thank you, rea carey. you're the first person to say transgendered here today, so i want to thank you for coming out and saying transgendered, getting people the notoriety other than just lgbt. so thank you. [applause] >> i'm going to say transgender so i become the second person. [laughter] okay. yes. >> hi. my name is sara, and i am with -- [inaudible] here in the state of d.c -- ooh, no. we don't have a state. so i am representing the dmv, the greater d.c. and metropolitan area. one of the things that i'd like to bring to the attention is that when we talk about women being disproportionately affected, whenever we say that women are disproportionately affected, you can double that number when you talk about minority women being disproportionately affected. and one of the things i'd like to say, i find that it's, um --
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i don't have, maybe i don't have the tools, but i find it, um, a little difficult to galvanize that minority voice and to bring it into the greater fold at times. um, if you're in, for instance, seattle, washington, someone in your group should be speaking haddic, there is a large somali pop haitian there. if you are -- population there. there's a large latino population. so i wanted to say to the greater group, and i've said to my group if your group looks just like you, maybe, maybe only you live in your neighborhood, but i doubt it. so there needs to be a greater outreach. and i'd like to, um, also know how or find out how through the different consortium of organizations, um, maybe classes about how to reach across, um, sometimes cultural borders or boundaries so that we understand
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each other, so that we are able to communicate well and, um, and address each other's needs. [applause] >> do any of the panelists want to respond to that, or should we move on to the next -- okay. >> virginia armstrong, president of the league of women voters to south hampton rhodes, virginia. i have one comment and one question. for the woman from maryland who doesn't have any particular need related to maryland, please, come to virginia. we are in one hell of a mess. [applause] secondly, with the league of women voters we are especially want to focus on voter suppression. and do you have any specifics for us that would be helpful?
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>> um, a couple of things. unfortunately, there are so many choices to get active, and i think, um, naacp has done so much work on this both on their own web site, in other thats in -- in other arenas in identifying which states are facing voter suppression laws with an eye on 2013. we think 2012 is bad, just wait until 2013. so what i would encourage you to do is, you know, google voter suppression or naacp voter suppression, look at the states. and in many of the states they're starting to ramp up campaigns or the local naacp chapters may start to do some activities, and a lot of us are trying to, also, kind of in the midst of ballot measures that are specific to somish -- some
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issues reach out to people who are interest inside voter suppression to make sure we're partnering together because we know we're going to have to turn around and fight. but look for campaigns in your local areas. >> all right. >> thank you. >> peg. >> i just want to say i've been doing this 25 years, and suddenly i realized what we have to do. we are, women -- there are a lot of us. money, some of us have it. the power, the men all have it. we have got to take over their offices, we have got to run for the fucking senate, the house of representatives. [laughter] [applause] and i say that word all the time, i hope no one's offended. [laughter] and you've got to do it in the states too where so much of this -- we have to do it. otherwise 25 years from now i will not be here, i promise, we're going to be saying the
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same thing. [applause] >> thank you. that's a great note to end on. i think we need to flood the ticket and, hopefully, everyone will consider running for office or helping support an excellent woman for public office. thank you, and we're on to our next plenary -- concluding plenary session. ellie? yes -- >> do i hear a peg yorken for senate campaign? >> thank you, i'm sorry. [applause] >> security professionals and first responders are gathering today here in washington at the washington convention center for a government security conference. fbi assistant directors of the counterterrorism and cybersecurity divisions will address the conference and discuss measures and priorities around potential threats and combating cyber fraud. following their remarks, we expect that they'll answer questions from the audience. it's expected to get under way in just a couple moments, we'll have live coverage when it
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starts here on c-span2. while we wait, here are remarks from fbi director mueller's appearance last month at a senate hearing on cybersecurity and terrorism. this is just under fife minutes. -- five minutes. >> turning to the cyber threat, this will be an area of particular focus for the fbi in the coming years as cyber crime cuts across all of our programs. terrorrests are increasingly cyber-savvy, and like every other multi-national organization, they are using the internet to grow their business and to connect with like-minded individuals. and they are not hiding in the shadows of cyberspace. al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula has produced a full-color, english language online magazine. al-shabab and al-qaeda affiliate in somalia has its own twitter account, and extremists are not just using the internet for propaganda and recruitment, they are using cyberspace to conduct operations. and while to date terrorists have not used the internet to
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launch a full-scale cyber attack, we cannot underestimate their intent. in one hacker-recruiting video, a terrorist proclaims that cyber warfare will be the war of the future. state-sponsored computer hacking and economic espionage which poses significant challenges as well. just as traditional crime has migrated online, so, too, has espionage. foreign nations seek our trade secrets for military and competitive advantage. and the result of these developments is that we are losing data, we are losing money, we are losing ideas, and we are losing innovation. and as citizens individually, we are increasingly vulnerable to losing our private information. the fbi has in the past several years built a substantial expertise in order to try to stay ahead of these threats both at home and abroad. we now have cyber squads in every one of our 56 field
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offices with more than 1,000 specially-trained agents, analysts and forensic specialists. borders and boundaries pose no obstacles for hackers, so the fbi uses our 63 legal attache offices around the world to collaborate with our international partners. we also have special agents embedded in romania, estonia, ukraine and the netherlands working to identify emerging trends and key players in the cyber arena. and here at home the fbi leads the national cyber investigative joint task force which bring withs together 18 law enforcement, military and intelligence agencies in order to stop current and to prevent future attacks. the task force operates through threat focus cells, specialized groups of agents, officers and analysts that focus on particular threats such as bot nets. and together we are making progress. just last week the department of justice and the fbi along with our domestic and foreign
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partners announced charges against six hackers who align themselves with a group known as anonymous, and according to the charges, they're responsible for a series of high-profile intrusions targeting companies, the media and law enforcement since 2008. and this case was successful because we worked extensively with our overseas partners, and we used our traditional investigative and intelligence techniques in the cyber arena. and we must continue to push forward and to enhance our collective capabilities to fight cyber crime, and we do need tougher penalties for cyber criminals to make the cost of doing business more than they are willing to bear. just as we did after september 11th, we must continue to break down walls and to share information to succeed in combating this cyber threat. and just as we do or did with terrorism, we must identify and stop cyber threats before they do harm. it is not enough to build our
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defenses and to investigate the harm after the fact. >> that testimony from last month. and now live coverage of the conference focusing on the government's cybersecurity and counterterrorism efforts. [background sounds] >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to gov/sec2012. before i introduce our keynote speakers this morning, i have a few housekeeping items i'd ladies and gentlemen to give to you -- i'd like to give to you. we'd encourage you to visit the expo hall on the lower concourse and look at the latest technology in security and enjoy some of the live demos that are
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planned there. i also invite you to stop by the security products booth and view the winners of the security products, the govvies 2012 government security awards. also, a reminder for you to save the date for our second, now-annual, gov/sec west being held in dallas at the gaylord texan. that will be held on october 8th-10th. also mark your calendar for gov/sec 2013 to be held here in washington, d.c. may 15th -- pardon me, may 13th-15th. also a reminder to, for tomorrow's keynote where we will feature senator george mitchell. that will be held at 9:00 in room 146. and the keynote speak speaker for tomorrow's general session is dr. gregory yakso.
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our theme for gov/sec 2012 is coupe terrorism and cybersecurity. we're proud to have both topics delivered here this morning by our keynote experts, the assistant directers of the fbi counterterrorism and cyber divisions. at the end of the keynotes, we will hold a question and answer session with both assistant directors. it is my pleasure to introduce our first keynote this morning, the assistant director of the counterterrorism division of the federal bureau of investigation. he began his career with the fbi in july 1991, and throughout his career served in the various leadership positions. in april 2011 he was appointed as deputy assistant director of the strategic operations branch,
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coupe terrorism division -- counterterrorism acquisition at fbi headquarters. he was appointed by fbi director robert s. muller as assistant director of the fbi's counterterrorism division. in his keynote session this morning, the assistant director will highlight the top priorities of the fbi in the regard to terrorism threat and various ways the fbi mitigates potential threats. he will also share with the audience some recent successes the fbi has had in stopping terrorist attacks. please give a warm welcome to ralph s. boelter. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. >> good morning. >> can i be heard? very good.
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if i try very hard, i can almost see the back row. it's -- thank you for coming today to this important topic. i know we are now ten years plus after the tragic attack on 9/11/2001, so i often wonder if there is terrorism fatigue out there in the country. and i'm, i'm pleased to see that we have quite the crowd today to listen to my address and, um, my colleague's address which will follow. so again, good morning to all. it's a pleasure to be here today and to speak to you about the fbi's continuing efforts to address the persistent threat of terrorism in to the -- to the united states and her interests around the world. terrorism, as i like to say, is the national security issue or
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challenge of our era. it is a complex, asymmetric threat that has challenged and hurt us both overseas and at home. in the years since 9/11, we have come a long way to be sure. we have accomplished much in that time. even so, on the road forward there is still much to do. as our adversaries adjust and evolve their strategies and their tactics, as they move to greater degrees into cyberspace, for instance, where physical distances between people and places are less relevant there are challenges before us, significant challenges. after the demise of usama bin laden last may, president obama reminded the world, in essence, that america and her allies would continue to be relentless in pursuit of al-qaeda, it
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affiliates and its adherence. to be sure, the achievements that stand as a reflection of that commitment are significant. the ranks of al-qaeda core leadership, for instance, have been degraded substantially during the last few years. likewise, many prominent figures or operatives and plots of groups affiliated with core al-qaeda have been disrupted. meantime, numerous violet extremist -- violent extremist plots in the homeland have been identified and disrupted including the recent plot by a home grown extremist in tampa, florida, who planned to attack a popular commercial district filled with restaurants and clubs during its busiest hours to inflict mass casualties. and a separate plot by another
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extremist to engage on a suicide attack on the u.s. capitol was disrupted just a few weeks ago. these and other achievements are the product of a composite or measures and actions that have improved the effectiveness of the fbi and its many partner agencies through enhanced intelligence analysis and information sharing and the protocols and infrastructure that facilitate that. through those improvements and the high degree of interagency collaboration that exists today between our local, state, federal and international partners, we are better able to identify and locate our adversaries. and better able to discern existing and emerging threats, threats that we can strategize and mobilize against and disrupt before harm is inflicted on
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americans, its interests or its allies. director muller often -- director mueller often describes the fbi's remarkable transformation over the past ten years from a largely reactive organization primarily focused on criminal matters -- not exclusively, but primarily focused on criminal matters -- to a robust, proactive, intelligence-driven agency that the fbi truly is today. focused first and foremost on protecting the united states from terrorists and other national security interests, or rather the threats. i often say that having been in the organization for the past 20 years that i have, in a sense, served in two fbis; the bureau as it existed before the 9/11 attacks and the bureau after
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that seminal day. in that regard, i stand as a witness of sorts and a participant in the transformation that the director often speaks of. including the establishment and the maturing of the directorate of intelligence within the fbi. a new creation for this organization. and the creation of the field intelligence groups that are now placed in each field office across the country. these constitute significant steps in the developing -- in developing our capability to understand and action and share the intelligence that we collect. the necessary expansion of the size and capabilities of the counterterrorism division and the increase in the jury room of jttfs, the joint terrorism task forces, around the country
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that gave us the capability to investigate terrorism leads and cases in a manner that overall is more timely, more consistent and more effective. and those jttfs, as you know, are staffed with the local police officers and state officials as well as fbi agents and other federal officials, other federal law enforcement officers. and intelligence agency representation. it's in part through the jttfs that we have joined forces and strengthened critical partnerships with hundreds of these state and local law enforcement agencies. functional partnerships that are foundational to keeping america safe. and we continue to evolve and seek ways to enhance our operations and further refine our analytical capabilities. for an example, about a year ago
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in my division, the counterterrorism division, we established the strategic operations branch within the division. the branch that is dedicated solely to assessing existing and emerging threats around the world. the threats that implicate the homeland. and not only that, it assesses our posture against each of those threats. in essence, identifying where we are well positioned, where we are strong and where we need to redouble our efforts. where we need to become stronger, we need to improve our posture. this branch solely works on those issues; identifying threats, assessing our posture and then driving resource decisions that i make to the allocate the resources that are
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available against the threats that confront us. so we're not just operating big as i like to say, throwing a lot of resources at a particular problem, we are operating smart. we're identifying the landscape, the threats across the landscape, and we're focusing on the threats that matter most. that endanger us most, that pose the greatest risk. i recently read the biography, the eyes isaacson biography of steve jobs, and an anecdote tells the story of steve trying to encourage his engineering staff to speed up the boot-up time of the mac back in the 1980s. and he said to his engineering
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staff, if a life was at stake, could you make it boot up faster? because the engineering staff had told him that it would be difficult to do that. so they took his words, and they said, yes, if a life was at stake, we could do it. and if you read the book, you're familiar with the anecdote. they knocked a significant amount of time off the boot-up time in the mac. and when i was reading that, i imagined that we don't in my line of work have to imagine that if a life were at stake because a life is at stake, many lives are at stake in this work. and so when we look to improve, i think of that anecdote, that steve jobs anecdote, and i apply it to my work force. let me be clear on this point.
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even in light of our recent successes, our counterterrorism successes over the last few years that i've mentioned earlier, we will not stop to celebrate those successes. why? because america is still at risk. because even as we have improved and evolved and sharpened our focus and our capabilities, our adversaries likewise continue to evolve their capabilities. and they are still committed to attacking us. that is clear. the terrorist threat has become more decentralized, more complex. with the establishment of al-qaeda affiliated around the eastern hemisphere. ten years ago the threat emanated from al-qaeda core in the afpak region of asia, and
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that is what we concentrated on. with laser focus. well, al-qaeda core continues to pose a threat and is still committed to attacking the u.s. and the west and still presents a danger to us. the al-qaeda affiliate based in the arabian peninsula actually constitutes a more serious threat to the united states today. it was aqap, as that affiliate is commonly described, that planned the attempted bombing of the northwest flight 253 in december of 2009. and it was aqap that attempted to bomb cargo flights bound for the united states in 2010. this and plots by other al-qaeda affiliates such as the times square bombing attempt by
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the pakistan taliban, ttp, in may of 2010 underscore the current decentralized nature of the threat. in addition to spreading out around the globe, al-qaeda has employed new methods and new tactics. of particular concern today is al-qaeda's use of online forums, web sites and social media to recruit and radicalize followers to commit acts of terrorism. in this way terrorist organizations seeking to harm us have, like i said earlier, dispensed with the limitations imposed by geography or distance. in fact, they can reach inside our borders and attempt to influence and direct their followers or others who might be susceptible to their message promoting violence. similarly, aqap has produced a
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full-color, english-language online magazine, highly professional production full of propaganda, extremist propaganda and available with the click of a mouse. terrorists are not only sharing ideas, they're soliciting information, they're inviting communication, they're improving their communication methods. they're becoming more secure. al-shabab, the al-qaeda affiliate in somalia, uses twitter to taunt its enemies in english and encourages terrorist activity. the increase in online activity by extremists coupled with the rapidity that one can be radicalized again presents a serious challenge for us.
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with these two fact -- where these two factors intersect, that is a concern and a focus of ours today. in the case of zachary chesser from this area who was radicalized online over a period of just a few weeks in mid 2008, the sentencing judge, liam o'grady, observed that chesser's transformation from high school athlete to highly-energized traitor of his country was startling. how quickly this young man went from high school athlete to one dedicated to the principles advocated by al-qaeda, the violent rhetoric, the violent ideology. chesser himself was surprised looking back at how quickly that transformation occurred. let me just say a few words
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about home-grown violent extremism in a broader context because that is a threat that we are quite concerned with today. again, the home-grown violent extremism that arises from within our borders provides us fewer opportunities to discern in a timely manner and disrupt before harm is inflicted. home-grown violent extremists, or hves as we refer to them, they come in all shapes and sizes, they come from various backgrounds. so trying to assess any commonality between them upon which you can develop an effective strategy is challenging. and yet we are doing just that. we are in that process of
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analyzing every one of those hves from where they came, how they became radicalized, how they mobilized so that we can better understand going forward and become more effective in dealing with this threat. as i indicated, hves are challenging because they are already in country, so there's no travel involved necessarily on their part. they're familiar with their perspective target -- prospective targets. they understand the culture. and in the case of lone actors, they can operate in relative isolation. they can present few signals that they are out there, few signals at what their intentions are. and they can use readily-available weapons or
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materials. when i talked about the attack, the attempted attack in tampa, i'm talking about an hve, somebody who radicalized here. they can either self-radicalize or be radicalized online by somebody else and mobilize. that's what we dealt with there. same near washington. i talked about the case, or the threat on the capitol. again, an hve. these are examples of hves. there are many more. this is the trend. in the last since 2008, there has been a substantial uptick in these hve cases, and so the trend is -- and the internet has a role to play in that. but the trend is the threat inside the borders is a significant one and one that is occupying more and more of our attention. so we need to do several things
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in this regard. the counterterrorism strategy, the national strategy is a multidimensional strategy. i involves going after your add adversaries, but it also means entering the counterradicalization process, understanding why people get radicalized and delivering countermessages to that. in ways that you can do so effectively. the need for community engagement is significant, and the fbi and the jttfs around the country have stepped up their efforts to engage in the community. to understand the community better and to convey to the community what our intentions are and what our interests are and what


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