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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  February 6, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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♪ amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! the court concludes that the circumstances brought in here today such that we need to intervene the judiciary's constitutional role, therefore the court believes the above-described is necessary. the state is granted. amy: a federal district judge james robart in seattle stays president trump's travel ban on
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seven, predominantly muslim countries. lawyers from washington and minnesota say restoring the ban would "unleash chaos again." this comes after the state department says as many as 60,000 people from the banned countries had their visas canceled. we will go to seattle to speak with matt adams, an attorney filing a class action lawsuit for a family who were restricted from bringing their children from somalia, syria, and yemen. trumpwe take a look at a proposal that puts him squarely between the lgbt community and the far right. >> among those freedoms is the right to worship among our own beliefs. that is why i will get rid of and totally destroy the johnson amendment and allow our representatives to speak freely
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and without fear of retribution. we will get a response from sarah whose recent story reveals sweeping plans to legalize discrimination. thousands rally outside the historic stonewall bar in new york to support lgbt rights under a trump presidency. >> whether we are lesbian, gay, transgender, mexican, or any number of other categories i could name, we are united by our otherness. if we did not know it before, we know it now thinks to donald trump should yes, yes we are stronger together. more, coming and up.
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♪ welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. courts have temporarily blocked president trump's executive order banning people from seven, majority muslim nations from entering the united states. early this morning, lawyers for the states of washington and minnesota filed a brief with a panel of the 9th circuit court of appeals arguing against restoring trump's executive order banning people from iraq, syria, iran, sudan, libya, somalia, and yemen from entering the united states, saying that to reinstate the ban would "unleash chaos again." this comes after, on sunday, a california appeals court sided with a lower court in seattle and refused to reinstate the travel ban. the seattle ruling, issued by u.s. district court judge james robart on friday, imposed a nationwide, temporary restraining order on the ban.
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over the weekend, the homeland security department began allowing visa holders affected by trump's order to board u.s.-bound flights, prompting many people to scramble to rebook flights. on sunday, roslyn sinha, an iraqi passport holder with a valid visa to live in the united states, was among those who was able to return. this is her speaking at dulles international airport outside washington, d.c. >> as i was in the air, donald trump signed an executive order. it made all of us confused. the airlines could not allow me on board. my heritage over was an unfair treatment. lawyers, andists, people to help get us back home. we think this country will always be great. no matter what. judge's ruling sparked
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multiple outbursts on twitter by president trump, who called robart a "so-called" judge. robart was appointed by president george w. bush and unanimously confirmed by the senate in 2004. one of trump's tweets read quote, "just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. if something happens, blame him and court system. people pouring in. bad!" unquote. he also wrote quote, "the judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. bad people are very happy!" unquote. trump's twitter rant sparked concern from lawmakers, including vermont senator patrick leahy, who sits on the senate judiciary committee, and said that trump seems quote, "intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis." we'll have more on the legal developments of trump's muslim ban after headlines. trump's pick to be the army secretary, billionaire vincent viola, has withdrawn from the
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nomination process citing his inability to disentangle himself from his business ties. viola is the owner of the florida panthers and the founder of many companies including the high-frequency trading company, called "virtu." critics have warned high frequency trading threatens the stability of global financial markets. meanwhile, the full senate is expected to vote today on the nomination of betsy devos for education secretary. another billionaire who has faced accusations of massive conflicts of interest. devos is a longtime backer of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. she and her husband have also invested in a student debt collection agency that does business with the education department. devos's confirmation is in doubt after two republican senators said they'd vote against her. if one more republican switches, she will not be confirmed. trump's supreme court nominee neil gorsuch has scheduled a slew of meetings with senators
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this week on capitol hill. moore has come to light about gorsuch including his writing in a right-wing campus newspaper. the associated press reports that in his writing he criticized protest saying that divestment could hurt the university's endowment. he also criticized racial ledtice protest and black movements on campus. he also defended administration during the contra scandal. tens of thousands of people from coast to coast poured into the streets for anti-trump protests throughout the weekend, demonstrating their opposition to everything from trump's muslim ban to his cabinet nominations, to the multiple
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lies issued by the white house and top trump officials last week. on friday night in new york city, protesters gathered for a mock vigil to "commemorate" the imaginary victims of the "bowling green massacre," an event that never happened, but which counselor to the president kellyanne conway cited during an interview last week to justify trump's muslim ban. this is one of the protesters. >> we are commemorating the victims of bowling green which never happened so they were never commemorated. we feel now they should be commemorated. world this alternate fact , this is something that needs to be commemorated. that is why we are out here. amy: then on saturday in new york city, thousands of people poured into the streets around the stonewall ball -- bar for a rally supporting the lgbt community. this is one of the protesters. >> i am here fighting for our
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rights. gender -- a transgender woman of color, i had to run away from my own country. i'm here to tell donald trump that we resist, and we are going to resist what he is trying to do against us. amy: we'll have more voices from this rally later in the broadcast. thousands of anti-trump protesters also rallied saturday outside the white house in "no ban,n, d.c. for a no wall" protest. in philadelphia, for a "sanctuary everywhere" protest. and in west palm beach, florida, where thousands marched on trump's mar-a-lago club where he was spending the weekend. hundred more protested at airport in los angeles, outside the courthouse in downtown miami, and at multiple protests in denver, including one outside senator corey -- cory gardner's
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office to demand he reject betsy devos's nomination for education secretary. more protests were held on sunday from coast to coast, including in paterson, new jersey, houston, texas, and at the border near san diego, california. mexican protesters shut down the san ysidro port of entry during a "border boycott" protesting trump's anti-immigration executive orders as well a major fuel price hike across mexico. on sunday, thousands also rallied in los angeles to protest the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline and the keystone xl pipeline. trump has moved to revive construction of both pipelines, which have faced massive resistance from indigenous nations, local white farmers, and environmental activists. meanwhile, at standing rock in north dakota, agents from the bureau of indian affairs attacked and arrested at least three water protectors at the sacred stone camp which sits on standing rock sioux tribal member ladonna brave bull allard's private land. a shaky video shows a bia officer beating one of the water protectors with a baton.
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trump's newly appointed chair of the federal communications commission, ajit pai, has begun to attack net neutrality rules and other consumer protections. in a series of actions last week, pai blocked nine companies from providing affordable high-speed internet to low-income families, withdrew the fcc's support from an effort to curb the exorbitant cost of phone calls from prison, and said he disagrees with the 2015 decision to regulate the internet like a public utility. in france, far right-wing politician marine le pen gave a much anticipated speech launching her presidential campaign sunday. she's running on a xenophobic, nationalistic agenda that calls for france to crackdown on immigration and leave the european union. in the speech, she claimed the upcoming election is a "choice of civilizations," and she said france must follow the path set by the brexit vote in britain, and the election of donald trump in the united states. >> other people have shown the
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way. the british have shown it to be free with exit. -- brexit. americans have chosen to give priority to their national interests. amy: meanwhile, in argentina, president mauricio macri has announced a slew of anti-immigration measures in recent days that many are comparing to those pushed by donald trump. these policies both speed up deportation and restrict new immigrants from entering. macri is justifying the measures by accusing immigrants of causing crime, using skewed data about incarceration rates. another right-wing congressman has called for the construction of a wall on the border with bolivia. massive protests continue in romania where a half a million people took to the streets sunday to continue protesting against government corruption. the demonstrations were initially sparked by the passage of an emergency ordinance that decriminalized misconduct by
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officials. on saturday, the government rescinded that decree, but the mass protests continue. many are now demanding the resignation of top politicians. romania's president is expected to give a speech later today. the united nations says civilian casualties in afghanistan rose last year, particularly among children. in total, 923 children were killed amid the ongoing fighting between the taliban, the u.s. and u.s.-backed afghan security forces, and isis militants. a total of 3,498 civilians died amid the fighting in 2016. the majority died in suicide bomb attacks. more than 100 died in airstrikes by international warplanes including those from the united states. people across the country took to social media sunday to commemorate what would have been trayvon martin's 22nd birthday. instead, the unarmed african american teenager was shot and
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killed by a white, neighborhood vigilante,uly t -- george zimmerman, on february sparking nationwide protests. on tuesday, a new book written by trayvon martin's parents will be published. it's titled, "rest in power: the enduring life of trayvon martin." the new england patriots scored a historic win during sunday beating ther bowl atlanta falcons 34-28 after unprecedented comeback. during the halftime show, lady gaga performed woodie guthrie "this land is your land," and "born this way," a song celebrating the lgbt community. a handful of the ads appeared to make political statements, such as as an audi ad demanding equal pay for women and an anheuser-busch ad that portrayed a fictionalized account of the
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co-founder's immigrant story. but the most explicitly political ad designed for the superbowl was rejected by fox. lumber 84's original ad depicted the lengthy journey of a mexican mother and daughter toward the united states, only to confront a looming wall at the border. after it was rejected, the company broadcast only the beginning of the ad, and then directed viewers to see the rest of the ad on its website which promptly crashed amid the traffic surge. this is part of the rejected ad when the mother and her daughter first see the wall. ♪ amy: that's the mother and her daughter discovering a wooden door built into the portable. -- wooden door
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built into the border wall. scenes from lumber 84's original superbowl ad which fox refused to broadcast. and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i am one gonzalez. gonzalez. just two weeks into his presidency, donald trump is locked in a battle with the federal courts over his executive order that bans refugees and travelers from seven predominately muslim countries from entering the united states. early this morning, lawyers for the states of washington and minnesota filed a brief with a three judge panel of the 9th circuit court of appeals that argued restoring trump's ban for iraq, syria, iran, sudan, libya, somalia, and yemen would quote, "unleash chaos again." this comes after the state department says as many as 60,000 people from the banned countries had their visas canceled. trump's executive order is based on a legal claim of national security, but lawyers argue the order is unconstitutional and
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hurts residents, businesses, and universities. technology companies apple and google submitted accompanying briefs that say the ban would damage their business by make it harder to recruit new workers. since 9/11, no terrorist attacks have been caused by any immigrants or refugees from any of the seven countries affected by the travel ban. all of this comes after u.s. district court judge james robart in seattle issued a ruling friday that put issued a nationwide temporary restraining order on the travel ban. this is judge robart. that theurt concludes circumstances brought in here today are such that we must intervene to fulfill the 2-d sharing'-- the judiciary's role in our government. thus, the court concludes that
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the above motion is necessary, and the state is granted. amy: judge robart's ruling prompted a twitter rant from trump that began saturday and continued throughout the weekend. the president wrote that quote, "the opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" he added quote, "bad people are very happy!" and quote, "just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. if something happens, blame him and court system. people pouring in. bad!" on sunday, vice president mike pence appeared on all four tv network's talk shows to defend the ban. he spoke on abc's "this week," cbs' "face the nation," "fox news sunday," and on nbc's "meet the press" with chuck todd, where he was asked about trump's reference to the "so-called judge" who ordered a stay of the order. vice president pence: the
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president has every right to criticize the other two branches of government. >> is that the weighted -- the way to do it? vice president pence: i think people like how he expresses himself. he expresses himself in a unique way. juan: over the weekend, the homeland security department began allowing visa holders affected by trump's order to board u.s.-bound flights. the agency said it had, quote, "suspended any and all actions" related to the travel ban. on sunday, an iraqi passport holder with a valid visa to live in the united states returned to the u.s. after a tumultuous few days. roslyn sinha landed at dulles international airport outside washington, d.c. expressing relief that her ordeal was over. i was in the air, donald trump signed an executive order. it made all of us confused. the airline could not let me on board. being banned because of my
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parents' heritage is unfair treatment. , lawyers, andsts people who are protesting to get us back home. we think this country will always be great. no matter what. fromwhen we come back break, we will go to seattle, washington where we will be joined by matt adams, who is a lead attorney for a class action lawsuit filed there that challenges the trump travel ban. we'll be right back. ♪ [music break]
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amy: a performance of "higher atund" at the lgbt q rally stonewall bar in new york. we will go to that rally later in the broadcast. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. gonzalez.with juan juan: president donald trump is locked in a battle with courts over his travel ban which blocks individuals from seven predominately muslim countries from entering the united states. amy: we are turning now to matt
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adams. talk about the significance of what took place. explain who the judges are who ruled against donald trump should -- donald trump. put afriday, judge robart stay on the executive order that puts a halt on the travel ban. travel ban kept families with valid visas from reentering the united states. families have been able to reunite. the judge is a very well respected judge here in seattle who was nominated by president bush -- unanimously nominated. there is sort of this reaction that he is a leftist judge out
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in seattle, but he is a deliberate, thoughtful judge with a sterling reputation for being very careful in how he proceeds forward, how he analyzes and complies with the law. go ahead. lawsuit is your distinct from that of the state of washington. could you explain the differences? ourast monday, both of brought a class action lawsuit on behalf of of individuals who are being affected by this ban. we brought three representative families that included to u.s. citizen parents, one lawful resident, and the children being separated by then because of this ban. at the same time, the state of
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washington came forward to bring forth their own action in federal court. they asked a judge to immediately put a hold on this saying that it has a tremendously horrible impact on the residence of the state -- residents of the state of washington. they have a right to stand up. robart was appointed by george w. bush and confirmed by the senate? >> that is correct. amy: explain why his ruling in all oflar put a halt on the muslim ban around the country. happened next over the weekend? >> there were various courts all across the country that wei
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ghed-in to reject the executive order. -- for different here example, over the weekend, a court in new york issued a nationwide stay as well. they said the government was no longer able to detain and deport individuals who showed up at the airport. then, our federal government made it so that individuals planeso longer board from their countries to arrive here. also stop individuals who have already gone through years theirting to determine refugee status. what this court order did is say that not only is it unlawful to lock up individuals at the airport and deport them, but it to block these
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individuals from coming to the united states. n, laid out this temporary ba but he made a finding that the state of washington is likely to prevail upon its claim because the federal government had not presented justification that they are permitted under the constitution to bar individuals based on their religion or national origin. now move to the situation where the trump administration has appealed to a three-judge panel on the ninth circuit court. what happens now? assuming the circuit court will reach a decision, doesn't go to a full hearing of the court -- does it go to a full hearing of the court? or does it go to the supreme
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court? >> it is almost unheard of for there to be an appeal on a temporary restraining order. instead, the courts tend to require the parties to move forward on the request for a preliminary injunction to relief. it is a longer-term determination made by the lower courts which gives both parties in opportunity to brief the case and present the evidence necessary to give careful deliberation to the matter. the federal government is already requesting a court of appeals to set aside the typical eigh-in even before the federal government has had a chance to submit the necessary briefing to defend their actions. amy: in the court of appeals right now, you have a president carter, president obama, and it
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president bush appointee that will review this? >> yes, there is now a panel that will receive the briefs by 3:00 p.m. pacific time today from the parties involved. they will then have indicated, shortly thereafter, their final decision on whether they are going to allow the temporary restraining order to stay in place. presuming that the ninth circuit does not -- regardless of where they go, it is very likely there is going to be a petition for the supreme court to then weigh- in. it is already extremely unusual that you would have a court of appeals weighing-in. h-inher they will weig before they have gone through the normal process of hearing the full legal arguments, we
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will see what happens. juan: the normal process would be -- if the three-judge panel rejects the government's claim to overturn the temporary restraining order, they will go back to the lower courts to have a hearing on the merits of if there should be a culinary injunction? >> correct. at the hearing on friday, the judge instructed the party to set up a schedule on which the government could submit a more complete briefing and response -- responseosition in their opposition to the state of washington's challenge. amy: can you talk about the people you represent? have those families been reunited sense the judge's decision? >> one of our lead plaintiffs who is now a u.s. citizen, who had traveled to jordan to meet up with his 12-year-old daughter from yemen, who had finally gone
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through years of this process to be reunited with her mother and father who were already living in the united states and are united states citizens, and her two sisters who are all united states citizens. she had finally been approved. they met in jordan and travel to the consulate for an interview. the conditions in yemen are so dangerous that the u.s. consulate prove -- pulled out of yemen. the father was instructed at the airport that only he could get on the plane. the 12-year-old daughter would have to stay behind, because of the travel ban. ever since, they have been stuck in this chaotic situation. the father needed to return, because he is the sole breadwinner for the family. however, the family does not want to send their daughter back to yemen.
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fortunately for them, due to the judge's order, they were able to board a plane on saturday. yesterday evening, for the first time, their 12-year-old daughter was reunited with her mother, father, and two sisters here in the united states. thinking about that, it is hard to imagine that -- when they were instructed at the airport that she could not get on to the plane, she broke down into tears and the family has been in a desperate situation. this is just one of many. we have another who showed up on saturday at the airport, and he had gone through a lengthy clearance process for his immigrant visa. he had gone through the consulate interview. when he showed up in seattle, he handcuffs, put on a plane, and he was deported.
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thanks to the judge's order, he was able to board a flight and enter the united states yesterday. he entered atlanta, and he will be arriving in seattle this morning to finally be reunited with his spouse. there are stories like this all over the country of families who are desperately moving forward to now be reunited thanks to bart's order saying he will not permit the federal government to go on and discriminating against these individuals. the statute of the immigration nationality act which precludes the net -- which precludes the branch from denying these is based on country of birth. juan: the response from the --al community to this ban all around the country, lawyers are mobilizing to help clients.
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now, we have companies like apple and google weighing-in as well. are you familiar with any kind of response like this in the past? >> i have been working on behalf of immigration law and rights for several years, and i have never seen anything like what has happened here. seebeen so gratifying is to from the get-go the state of washington step up and make it very clear that despite the trump administration's threat to defund sanctuary jurisdictions and threatening to impose other sanctions, they made it clear that they were going to stand with the immigrant and refugee community. they then marched forward and filed a lawsuit. i think it follows a long tradition here in washington state of solidarity with immigrant communities. we are seeing this all across the country. are seen not just nonprofit organizations that corporations,
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people in the streets, people protesting at airports. the outpouring of support by the community is just unprecedented. it goes to show that the community is not simply going to stand down when donald trump moves forward acting in complete disregard of the constitution and the laws that our country has in place. i think it goes beyond that. amy: let's go to what donald trump said in response to judge robart. it is not the first time he has attacked a judge. last year, he went after a judge for ordering him to release trump university documents claiming that the university had defrauded students. this is president trump speaking at a campaign rally them. president trump: i have a judge who is a hater of donald trump.
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he is a hater. be judge, who happens to mexican, which i think is fine, i think the mexicans are going to end up loving donald trump when i give all these jobs. amy: that was donald trump attacking another judge for his mexican heritage. he then tweeted up a furious storm on saturday talking about judge robart. how unusual is this? >> we certainly have not seen this in the past where you have a president or his administration individually attack judges and their decisions. yes, they may attack their notsions, right not -- but individually challenge the judg es. i think it shows the deliver it
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disregard -- deliberate disregard from the administration to the principles of our democracy. there are three equal branches that apply checks and balances on one another. amy: that adams, they did for being with us. adams is also legal director for the northwest immigrant rights project, which filed the suit along with the american immigration council and the national immigration project of the national lawyers guild. his lawsuit was filed in seattle on behalf of three parents legally living in the u.s. they are trying to bring their children back in who were restricted to travel from somalia, syria and yemen . question, he flew into the seattle airport in the midst of the chaos. schedule.t know his all i know is that he was there. the governor for the state of washington did show up. we had a senator's show up at
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the airport to express their support for the immigrant community both here and potential he facing being denied entry into the united states. amy: matt, thank you so much. this is democracy now! when we come back, we go to the protest in new york. thousands gathered at the historic stonewall inn at the village. the site of the launching of the modern day lgbt movement. they were protesting donald trump around lgbt rights and the immigrant community. stay with us. ♪ break]
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amy: "born this way" by lady gaga. it was part of the medley of songs she performed during the halftime show on sunday in houston. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. i am here with juan gonza lez. juan: a rally was held at the stonewall bar in new york for the lgbt movement. i was recently recognized obama administration for being a historic location in the battle for gay rights. raided thelice stonewall bar. foughtividuals inside back, and it launched the modern day lgbt movement.
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hear first from the first openly gay councilmember from the city of new york who is also hiv-positive. >> we have the ability to push back. we will march. we will protest. we will let our voices heard. >> my name is councilmember cory johnson. i am a member of the new york city council. we are here at the lgbt rally to stand up to this demagogue administration. stonewall is the birthplace of the modern lgbt movement. we come here for celebration, and we come here in times of anger and protest. that is because people bled here. thele put their bodies on line here, and people stood up to oppression here. that is what we are doing here today. you are not going to oppress us.
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we know our self worth and value. we are going to push back. fighting for our rights. as a woman of color, as an atheist, as a person has to run away from my own country, i am here to tell donald trump we resist. we are going to resist what he is trying to do against us. >> please welcome to this change -- the stage, egyptian actor and activist. >> when i came out, it was a scene not unlike this. i decided to use my voice to come out. it did not go so well. i faced threats of intimidation, violence, and death threats. i was forced to leave overnight. when i got here to new york, i
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was welcomed by new york. you guys for so long have been that begin of liberty, justice, freedom for all. do not back down. resist. keep fighting. fight for those like me and those without a voice resist, resist, resist! >> new york is our home. america is our home. here because i am a , andh american trans woman i have no choice but to resist. normalizemp stands to hatred. he poses as an ally for our community, and yet his initiatives for religious freedom stand to devour so many things that my community has fought and worked for. this will not happen, and it
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cannot happen. silent!ll not be amy: some of the voices among thousands who came out among the stonewall inn at new york's west village over the weekend to protest donald trump and member what happened decades ago when police raided this historic bar. among those who led the charge against the police were transgender activists. there were so many who addressed the crowd for hours on saturday. among them is cynthia nixon. she is best known for her portrayal of miranda in "sex in the city." hello brothers. hello sisters. hello siblings who reject the
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gender binary. welcome and thank you for being here. as lgbt people, we know how important coming out is. i would argue that our coming out has never been more important than it is right now. asneed to come out not just queer, but as people who know all too well what it feels like to be put into a box that says "other." "less than." easy target for someone you are looking to harass, demonized, beat up, and even kill. donaldot know yet what trump has in store for us, and chances are he does not either. lgbt people are concerned, he seems to hold many different positions at once.
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as gertrude stein once said, there is no there there. as our he reassures us that he would never allow his administration to roll back our hard-won rights , but he chooses mike pence. g -- booing] conversioner boy for therapy as his vice president. ooing] daughter arew and supposed to reassure us that those closest to him are gay positive caused -- cosmopolitans. however, they could not even get
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the administration to mention jews on holocaust remembrance day. not sure how much influence they played againstn his desire to placate his faith. we must fight hard and yell for ourselves. we have come too far to back down now. we must fight just as hard and yell just as loud for muslims. [cheering] for those here and those trying to get here. we know now that their struggle is our struggle, because their enemies our -- are our enemies. whether we are lesbian, or gay, or transgender, or muslim, or mexican, or any one of a number of other categories i could name, we are allies united by
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our otherness. if we did not know it before, thanks to donald trump, we know it now. stronger together. [cheering] >> seattle federal judge james robart's ruling yesterday has for now shut down donald trump's muslim band, at least an, atarily -- muslim b least temporarily. it is a major decision. we have him to thank, but we also have to thank the thousands and thousands of people who have come out and protected the ban and kept the issue front and center for the past week. in other words, us!
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i was at a number of those protests, and i'm sure a number of you here today were, too. the thing that struck me about the protests was not the anger, which has been abundant, not the ,urnout, which has been huge but that diversity of the crowds. and the good humor we have managed to maintain in the face of such hateful, trumpian, bleakness. the creativity we are expressing on our signs and bodies. while our anger is high and highly justified, it is important that it is entwined with those other strands that maintain us. we cannot burn with anger 24/7 or else we will flameout.
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our anger will consume us. people, we are in this for the long haul. because this is just the beginning. if we listen to the an hour kiss and go via -- an artist -- anarc and go violent, we will give the administration the opening they are looking for. i message here today is to take care of yourselves, because you are our most valuable research -- resource right now. we needed you here today, and i thank you for coming. it is not over. we need you here tomorrow, too. and next week, and next month, and next year. we have to keep coming out. to do that, we have to find a place inside each of us and between all of us of joy and
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humor and solidarity and hope. and then, we can win. i promise. trump. donald his fear and anger are consuming him. be different. be other. you. be we need you. amy: that was cynthia nixon known for her for trail of miranda in "sex in the city." she was speaking at the massive at the stonewall inn for the lgbt community. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan gonzalez. juan: speaking at a national , donald trumpst
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vowed to "destroy" the johnson amendment, a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt religious or charitable organizations from, quote, "directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for elective public office." white evangelical protestants have long pushed for the amendment to be repealed. this is president trump. president trump: among those freedoms is the right to worship according to our own the lease. -- own beliefs. that is what i will totally destroyed and get rid of the johnson amendment to allow our representatives of faith to speak freely without fear of retribution. juan: the provision does not prohibit political activity by churches or religious organizations overall, but it does place some limits on the role of religious institutions in u.s. elections. amy: another possible move reportedly being considered by the trump administration is a
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sweeping religious freedom executive order that would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity. a draft of the order was leaked last week. afterwards, several media outlets reported that donald trump daughter and her husband, jared kushner, who are considered supporters of lgbt rights, pressured trump to kill the order. for more, we are joined by sarah posner, an investigative fund reporter with the nation institute. her most recent piece published in the nation is titled, "leaked draft of trump's religious freedom order reveals sweeping plans to legalize discrimination." she is also the author of "god's profits: faith, fraud, and the republican crusade for values voters." welcome to democracy now! talk about these two separate .nitiatives >> the executive order, as you said, would provide sweeping religious exemptions so that a business owner, a government employee, and individual could
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claim religious objection to you, or sexual orientation, your private sexual activity even, and refuse you service. refuse to rent an apartment to you. refuse to comply with a federal law that come -- that requires an employer to provide health insurance. that is the main part of this draft executive order, but it also has other provisions in it including an effort to repeal the johnson amendment. even if trump does not sign the executive order that i reported on last week, he is still fairly likely to join republicans in congress in repealing the johnson amendment. it is not legally clear that he could do it via executive order, but the same week that all of this happened, members of the congressional prayer caucus introduced legislation to repeal
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the johnson amendment. if it passes the house and senate, resident trump is likely to sign it -- president trump would be likely to sign it. it would sweep away this restriction to get involved in political campaigns. it would open the door not only for pastors to openly endorse medical -- political candidates and use church resources to do so, but it would also open the floodgates of dark money to funnel through churches. it is not transparent or reportable like money would be if donated to a political campaign or a clinical action committee. if someone wanted to pour -- a political action committee. if someone wanted to pour unlimited money into a campaign without disclosing their identity, doing it through a church, now through the repeal of the johnson amendment, would be allowed to.
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were you able to determine who in the trump administration was pushing the executive order for him to pass -- or for him to sign? also, this whole issue of his daughter and jared kushner having a different perspective on these issues? >> you will notice that the reporting on the intervention to oneuld be limited particular issue, and that was whether or not trump weight keep placewould keep in executive orders from the obama administration which would keep federal contractors and employees from discriminating against lgbt people. that was the only piece of this entire issue he focused on. in the wake of my reporting on the broad executive order, the kushnerscated that the
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had prevailed upon him regarding that particular employment issue. it does not indicate if they pushing himed upon to deny these religious freedom extensions for the johnson amendment. discover whoe to in the administration was pushing on this, but after i reported, there were many figures on the religious right who supported it in its entirety. they encouraged president trump to sign it. right anderson of the heritage organization which is a republican think tank is an outspoken opponent to marriage equality. he subsequently wrote a column about how the executive order was lawful and right.
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other figures on the religious right also chimed in a long those lines. tweeted thathost if president trump signed it he would be the abraham lincoln and martin luther king jr. of religious freedom. did why at the time president johnson signed the amendment? >> basically, taxpayers subsidized tax-exempt organizations. taxpayersssue of subsidizing political activity. amy: sarah, we thank you for being with us. we will let your peace in nation which describe this issue. democracy now is produced by mike burke, nermeen shaikh, carla wills, laura gottesdiener, deena guzder, sam alcoff, robby karran, hany massoud, charina nadura, and andre lewis. mike di fillippo, miguel nogueira and paul huckeby are
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our engineers. our engineers. special thanks to becca staley,
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