Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 29, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

3:00 pm
03/29/13 03/29/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> history had made glued to the seats. and this little girl said, how is that? like., it felt tubman's harriet hands were pushing me down on the shoulder. >> as women's history month comes to a close, we're joined
3:01 pm
by women some call the other rosa parks. nine months before rosa parks refused to give up her bus seat, a 15-year old teenager named claudette colvin to the very same thing. she was arrested. it was her case that led to the supreme court decision to desegregate alabama's bus system. claudette colvin joins us today for a rare interview. first, as president obama calls on congress to pass new gun control legislation, we will look at how the obama administration and the national rifle association are attempting to weaken international arms treaty at the un >> de un buys and sells almost as much weaponry -- the u.n. buys and sells almost as much weaponry. >> we will speak with andrew feinstein, author of, "the shadow world: inside the global arms trade." all of that and more coming up.
3:02 pm
this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the proposed global arms treaty is stalled in talks at the united nations. but on thursday, iran, syria, north korea blocked adoption of the first international citing failure to ban weapons to armed rebel groups. despite the three countries' objections, the treaty is expected to come up for a vote in the general assembly next week. the talks mark the latest effort to craft a global standard for regulating the arms trade after the obama administration block an agreement last summer. we will have more on this story after the headlines. tensions are continuing to mount between the u.s. and north korea. the north korean regime says it has ordered its rocket units on standby for an attack on regional u.s. military bases after the u.s. flew stealth bombers capable of deploying nuclear weapons over south korea. it was the latest threat by north korea and the standoff over u.s.-south korean military
3:03 pm
drills and u.s.-backed security council's sanctions in response to north korea's nuclear tests. on thursday, defense secretary chuck hagel rejected assertions south korea flights are provocation. >> we have secured issues here we have to protect and commitments and our security interests. so, no, i don't think we're doing anything extraordinary or provocative or out of the or didn't -- orbit of what patients do to protect their own interests and ensure, especially at only two south korean allies, but other allies in the region, that' we must mae that these provocations by the north are taken by us very seriously and we will respond to that. >> police in connecticut have unsealed key findings of their
3:04 pm
investigation into the shooting massacre in newtown sandy hook elementary school. the gunman, adam lanza, had a massive arsenal of weapons at home, including swords, knives, and guns. other findings at his home included a newspaper clipping of another school shooting, several books on autism, a report card from when he attended sandy hook, and a certificate from the national rifle association bearing adam lanza's name. he used 30-round magazines to fire 154 times at sandy hook, killing 26 people in less than five minutes. in a statement, connecticut governor dannel malloy said the fact lanza opted for the high- capacity magazines instead of the smaller ones he had at home underscores the need for an assault weapons ban. president obama invoked newtown at a news conference thursday to reaffirm his push for gun control legislation on capitol hill. flanked by group of gun control activists including mothers who have lost children to
3:05 pm
shootings, obama said "shame on us if we've forgotten the newtown victims." obama about to continue his efforts to despite -- his efforts despite heavy opposition from gun control foes. >> those interested in changing the subject or drowning out the majority of the american people to prevent any of these reforms happening at all. they're doing what they can to make our progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration or their assumption is people will just forget about it. >> the senate is facing an upcoming vote on the new gun- control law. senate majority leader harry reid has already excluded an assault weapons ban from the overall legislation, but it is still, for a vote as an amendment. defense attorneys for hunger striking prisoners at guantanamo or to some military officials of imposing harsh conditions in a bid to halt their protests. an emergency motion filed in federal court says guards or denying prisoners water and keeping camp to butchers
3:06 pm
extremely frigid to increase their discomfort. the prisoners have refused food for nearly two months over intrusive searches on the continued detention without charge. at least three prisoners were hospitalized for dehydration and earlier this week. the allegations come as the red cross has become a fact-finding mission at guantanamo to evaluate conditions for the hunger striking prisoners. the environmental protection agency is set to run down the federal standards today for cleaner gasoline and vehicles. the rules will reduce sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds. the obama administration says the standards will be equal to taking 33 million cars off the roads. they have been held up for well over a year amidst political opposition led by oil industry lobbyists. at the 16th rest of the mcrath sign on to republican demand for the rules to be delayed. 15 people were killed in syria thursday when bonds hit a
3:07 pm
building on the campus of damascus university. the syrian government says all of the victims were students, planning rebels for the attack. the u.n. sector the council as approve the new military force to launch operations against rebel groups in the democratic republic of congo. the force's mandate is unprecedented in explicitly prescribing offensive capabilities to a peacekeeping force under the united nations. the force would target the rebel m23 and other groups operating in the drc's border regions with rwanda and uganda. a rainy court has cleared 21 medics charged and in some cases jailed for treating demonstrators during anti- government protests two years ago. they were swept up in the u.s.- backed monarchy's crackdown on political opposition. three medics arrested in the case remain behind bars. concern is growing for the help the former south african president nelson mandela after his hospitalization for a long infection. he spent the second and the hospital thursday, his third
3:08 pm
hospital admission in four months. president obama extended his well wishes for mandela's's recovery. >> obviously we are deeply concerned with nelson mandela's health. he is a hero to all of us. i am sure i speak for the other leaders here. we will be keeping him in our thoughts and prayers and his entire family. physically as he has been in character and leadership over so many decades. and hopefully, he will come out of this latest challenge. >> the south african government says mandela is in good spirits and making progress. the nation's largest labor unions say they have made progress in behind-the-scenes talks on the status of foreign guest workers as part of overall immigration reform. the afl-cio and other groups are
3:09 pm
taking part in negotiations on the pending immigration overhaul undertaken by a bipartisan group in the senate. the dispute between unions and the u.s. chamber of commerce on pay for immigrant guest workers in low-wage jobs has reportedly held up talks over the past week. the two sides have now apparently settled on a solution to establish a wage standard similar to current u.s. law. a u.s. army veteran has been detained on charges of fighting alongside and al qaeda group battling syrian president bashar al-assad. the soldier reportedly took part in attacks on al-assad's forces earlier this year. he was arrested after returning to the united states. dozens of protesters marched on government buildings in detroit on thursday to oppose the appointment of emergency managers across michigan. the rally came one day after a coalition of civil rights and religious groups filed a lawsuit challenging emergency managers in detroit and five other michigan cities. the managers are granted broad powers, including overruling elected officials, in a bid to
3:10 pm
turn around struggling finances. the new lawsuit accuses michigan's controversial emergency manager law of imposing a new form of government in the state. the emergency manager law has disproportionately affected african-americans, with over half of african-americans a michigan now living under unelected leadership. speaking at the federal courthouse in detroit, the reverend al sharpton called the michigan issue a national struggle. >> this is a national struggle, but a local issue. what the governor has done is nullified the voters of this city to impose his own will, something dr. martin luther king spoke against 50 years ago this year. >> detroit's the emergency manager began his tenure this week. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
3:11 pm
president obama is urging congress to pass his gun-control agenda, which includes universal background checks for gun buyers. on thursday, obama made an emotional plea for americans not forget the horrifying elementary school massacre in newtown, connecticut three months ago. surrounded by mothers of shooting victims, obama said the size of action must be taken to prevent future tragedies. there's no reason why we cannot get this done. but the reason we're talking about here today is because it is not done until it is done and are some powerful voices on the other side that interested in running out the clock or changing the subject or drowning out the majority of the american people to prevent these reforms from happening at all. they're doing everything they can to make our progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration or their assumption is people will just forget about it because the president tries to shame congress for not passing gun control, the u.s. has been one
3:12 pm
of the leading countries blocking a u.n. treaty to regulate the $70 billion international arms trade, torpedoing it last summer and dragging its feet on it this week at the united nations. while iran, syria, north korea are generating headlines for officially blocking the treaty, less attention has been paid to the role of the u.s. and outside groups, including the national rifle association. for more we're joined by andrew feinstein who is author of, "the shadow world: inside the global arms trade." member of the anc parliament in south africa. welcome to "democracy now!" i want ask you about nelson mandela before we start talking about this. >> it is a difficult time for all south africans, for many people in the world. i think at his age, into his 90's, when someone spends this amount of time in the hospital, quite legitimately there is
3:13 pm
going to be concerned. he is certainly frail. but at the moment, supposedly in good spirits according to the south african president. at this point we can only hope. >> let's talk about what is happening at the united nations right now and then we will talk about congress. a very unusual yesterday president obama beseeching congress, at shaming them, trying to get them to pass gun- control. meanwhile down the road at the u.n., the united states plays a different role in the international arms treaty, the first ever that has not yet been signed. can you talk about it? >> the first point i should make is something of an outsider to the u.s., i find it extraordinary that legislation has not yet been passed on gun control. i think most of the world would be absolutely astonished if there is not quite strict gun- control legislation in the united states.
3:14 pm
president obama is absolutely correct to be pushing for it. ironically, at the same time the united nations, the united states is perhaps more responsible than any other country for scattering the negotiations last summer as she mentioned. >> and for americans, that means? >> to effectively end the negotiations before a treaty had been agreed. and now the same mechanism used by american in july has been used by north korea, iran, in syria to effectively block the treaty at the moment. the hope is this will only be a temporary delay and next week we will see in the general assembly of international arms trade treaty. >> requiring all 193 members of the united nations, complete consensus on a treaty, is that the normal method for deciding on these treaties or is this one way the u.s. used to make it
3:15 pm
possible for even just the united states by itself to block the treaty? >> i think that was the intention. i think the u.s. and president obama with the election in mind, to be quite honest, was thinking about the pressures that would come from the nra itself, but from large defense contractors. the interest groups that keep this multibillion-dollar industry going. an industry, i should mention, is wracked by corruption, in which the boundaries between the illegal and the legal are extremely fuzzy and constantly broken. so i think the u.s. insisted on this mechanism in this particular negotiations, and in some sense, it has come back to haunt the u.s. >> specifically, there is and talk about the current version has been watered down. what would the treaty do in real life? the united nations is notorious
3:16 pm
for its effectiveness in terms of being able to police other governments with other treaties. how would this work? >> the idea is, it would raise the stakes. it would make it incumbent upon those countries that signed up to it to put in place certain mechanisms that would govern the way in which the export and import weaponry. the difficulty is, and to be honest, the treaty in its current form is a lot weaker than i would like to see. i think there are a lot of issues that have not been adequately addressed. there is no meaningful enforcement mechanism. but to the credit of the civil society organizations and activist groups who have pushed for this treaty, it will be the first set of international rules. i think what its real use will be, will actually be giving activists and civil society organizations a lever with which to exert pressure on
3:17 pm
governments. on that. to follow up can you give examples of some of the provisions that would bring progress on the question of control in the arms force? >> governments would have to consider certain criteria before authorizing the export of material, military equipment, weaponry, from their country. those would include the likelihood of contributing to an intensification of conflict atrocities against their own citizens or citizens from other countries. it would also mean they would have to document exactly what they were both exporting and importing. so there are a number of ways in which it would apply regulation that does not currently exist. however, let me emphasize, without strong enforcement mechanisms and without really committed political will from individual nation states, the
3:18 pm
utility and effectiveness of this treaty was still remain to be seen. >> let's talk about the nra's raúl. on saturday, they think republican senator james inhofe .or introducing oan amendment his amendment passed in the senate early saturday morning in a 53-46 vote. executive director of the enterprise institute for legislative action, chris cox, said in a statement -- last july, the nra chief wayne lapierre testified at the nine nations, opposing the global arms treaty. >> the nra is the largest and most active firearms rights organization in the world, with 4 million members who represent
3:19 pm
100 million americans who own firearms. on behalf of those 100 million american gun owners, i am here to announce nra's strong opposition to anti-freedom policies that disregard american citizens right to self-defense. no foreign influence has jurisdiction over the freedoms our founding fathers guaranteed to us. we will not stand idly by while international organizations, whether state-based corestatesless, attempt to undermine the liberties our men and women in uniform have fought so bravely to preserve. and on which our entire american system of government is based. >> that was an array's chief when lapierre last july. froms the u.s. government interesting, strange bedfellows, the nra and the
3:20 pm
obama administration, it was the obama administration that at the last minute ended these talks last july. you had the head of amnesty international saying this was a stunning comic artists act by the obama administration when at the last minute did an about- face and scuttle progress toward global arms treaty. so that people, especially the activists, cannot organize because it happened at the very end. nra and obama, here at home they seem like pampers i sat on each other, but they're the work together. >> the nra has peddled untruths about this international arms trade treaty since the beginning. it was suggested in some way with impact on their ability internally within the u.s. to bear arms, which is an absolute nonsense. so not only are the strange bedfellows on the international stage, but even what is happening domestically should be
3:21 pm
put in its place by the obama administration itself domestically. but it has used the nra effectively, and i think for domestic reasons in the lead up to the election, to prevent the passage of the treaty, and, yes, it was done in an enormous the cynical way at the tail end of the negotiations that led activist groups and civil society in an impossible position. even in the current negotiations, the u.s. has attempted to weaken the treaty and a whole range of ways, some of which, unfortunately, have come to fruition. i think one has to bear in mind there are massive interest groups here, the nra press the large defense contractors in the u.s. and around the world, who want to see as weak and arms trade treaty as possible, if there has to be one at all. >> and this is in the context of our nation being by far the largest merchant of weapons in
3:22 pm
the world. we dwarf any other country in exporting in terms of exportin weapons around the globe. >> the u.s. sells and buys almost as much weaponry as the rest of the world combined. so what happens in the united states is absolutely crucial to the future of arms control in the entire world. so the influence of mr. lapierre can be extraordinarily damaging. i would hope the sort of distance that has been created between the administration and the nra domestically is replicated internationally once the treaty has passed by the united nations general assembly, hopefully, lastly, and the and treats the nra has been peddling for years now about this treaty are finally put to rest. >> andrew feinstein, thank you
3:23 pm
for being with us, author of, "the shadow world: inside the global arms trade." he is working on a film version of the book. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. ofbecome to the last date women's history month, we will be joined by a woman who certainly made history in the last century. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
3:24 pm
3:25 pm
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> earlier this year, the nation marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of rosa parks who refuse to give up her seat and a city bus in alabama to a white man in december, 1955. her act of resistance led to a the mcgovernott of buses led by a young minister named martin luther king. in washington, d.c., president of their presided over a ceremony last month unveiling a statue of rosa parks in the u.s. capitol. >> rosa parks singular act of disobedience launched a movement. the tired feet of those who
3:26 pm
walked the dusty roads of montgomery helped the nation see that to which it had once been blind. these men andof women die stand here today. that ourause of them children grow up in a land more free and more fair, and land truer to its founding creed. >> while rosa parks become a national support rights icon, she was not the first woman in a very to refuse to give up proceed on a city bus. on march 2, 1955 -- nine months before the rosa park's arrest -- a teenage schoolgirl named claudette colvin boarded a city bus after school to head home. as a buildup, a white woman was left standing and the bus driver ordered the 15-year-old to get up and move to the act. she refused and was dragged off
3:27 pm
interested. three weeks later, an article named, "negro girl convicted: she is held guilty of refusing to move to back of bus." >> claudette colvin became the star witness in a case that wound its way to the supreme court. rev. dr. martin luther king, general and his political debut fighting her arrest. claudette colvin joins us in the studio, 73 years old, living in the bronx. and we're joined by jeanne theoharis, author of, "the rebellious life of mrs. rosa parks." jeanne theoharis is a professor of political science and has written extensively on the civil-rights movement rid she joined us in february on what would of been the 100th birthday of rosa parks. claudette colvin, president of the much talked about rosa parks' singular act, that you had done it before. nine months before. she was 42, you were 15 years
3:28 pm
old. what gave you the courage that they? you were coming home from school? >> yes. what gave me the courage? il of the unfair treatment had experienced in my early childhood. celebrated negro history for the week, but our school did it for the whole month. so i had a whole month to talk about all of the injustices. >> back in 1955? >> yes. we had an instructor who used to teach english. .he taught literature my history teacher, mrs. africa. taught us about
3:29 pm
we learned through current events. we learned about africa. all ofgan to think about this and how unfair we were treated. driver call the police, they accuse to resisting arrest as well as refusing to give up your seat. can you talk about that and when the police came to haul you off the bus? why didn't you get up when the bus driver asked you? i said, ilice -- could not move because history had me glued to the seat. they said, how is that? i said, because it felt like sojourner truth's and for
3:30 pm
pushing down on one shoulder, and harriet tubman's and for pushing down on the other shoulder and i could not move but i yelled out "it is my constitutional right scrimp i was not breaking a law under the separate but equal, i was sitting in the area that was reserved. but that time, we did not even want to be called black people, because black had a negative connotation, we were called colored. because of jim crow law, the bus driver had police force. he could ask you to get up. the problem was, the white woman the was standing near me -- she was not elderly. she was young. she had a whole sea to sit down opposite me, and she refused to
3:31 pm
sit down because of jim crow laws, the white person could not sit opposite a colored person. a white person had to sit in front of you. the purpose was to make white people feel superior and colored people to feel inferior. >> and this is something you clearly understood at the age of 15. >> oh, sure. i learned it at a very early age. my first encounter was in a general store when a little white boy or a little white kid about my age and his friend's car relatives, came into the store and there were laughing about me. the little boy said to another town, "let me say, let me see." i held my hands to his hands and
3:32 pm
my mother gave me a backhanded slap on the forehead. >> the context of what was happening at the time in terms of terror on the black community, there was as cool -- a schoolmate of yours arrested for supposedly it raping a white woman that was senator executed? >> yes, his name was jerry. they had him arrested, but he was tried for being a serial rapist of six white women during the summer. >> so the police come march 2, 1955, you are refusing to get up. when they come on the bus, what do they do to you? >> they asked me to get up and refused. man was ae police
3:33 pm
traffic policeman. he yelled to the bus motorman that he had no jurisdiction here and he got off. andbus driver moved the bus to the squad cars came on the bus. i became more defiant. when they ask a the same question, why are you sitting there, i said it is my and heutional right said, a constitutional right that though he knocked the books out of my lap. one grabbed one arm and one grab the other. they manhandled me off the bus. after i got in the squad car, they handcuffed me through the window and took me to booking and not to a juvenile facility, but to an adult jail. i stayed in jail approximately
3:34 pm
three hours until my pastor another came in bailed me out. >> were you afraid that go >> no, i was not afraid. i was a teenager. >> your in the naacp? >> not a bad time for it when i was arrested, -- not at that time. that my family was introduced. >> and he was president of the local naacp and she was secretary? >> no, i think he was in charge of the porter's. >> and the reaction of your parents, your family to your arrest? a teacher started teaching us about africa, i went to school with my hair in braids. at that time, you had to do the
3:35 pm
best you could with a hot, and pomade. i said, why put yourself through that trouble? when i went to school like that, they thought i was crazy and i lose my boyfriend. march 2, 1955.d it would be nine months before rosa parks would sit on the bus and do exactly the same thing. that kicked off this kind of magic moment that kicks off the bus boycott. why didn't that happen on march 2 when you engaged in the same act? >> i do not know. my parents [indiscernible] improvementy association. >> yes. they thought i would not make a good test case.
3:36 pm
andow was written in a book what the attorneys have said, later i became pregnant. i was not pregnant march 2. smith, they said her father was a drop, and alcoholic. but mary louise smith went to a private school. she graduated from -- >> and who would sheet? in october.rrested >> let's bring jeanne theoharis into this conversation who wrote the book this past year, "the rebellious life of mrs. rosa parks." 'sn you put claudette colvin remarkably brave act, 15-year- old schoolgirl, into this larger political context? 11 action gets a lot of
3:37 pm
attention montgomery, but does not launch the boycott, yet rosa parks does, even the other young woman that claudette colvin was just talking about? >> this is 1955 or after the brown decision, a new legal moment. brown vs. board of education, 1954, the supreme court rules school segregation is illegal, that separate cannot be equal. shortly after that, joanne robinson, a professor at alabama state college, also head of the women's political council, writes a letter to the bus company saying if you don't change, we are going to boycott. we are in a new moment in montgomery. there have been people that resisted on the bus before 1954, more people in the decade since world war ii, but 1955 -- 1954, we are in a new moment the women's group had been organizing, e.d. nixon, rosa parks in particular are the more
3:38 pm
activist part of the naacp. there are growing frustrated with the situation but on the bus and in schools in montgomery. march 1955, claudette colvin makes her historic act and there is outrage in the community. i think there is no way to understand what people galvanized behind parks without understanding claudette colvin's arrest and what that does for many people in montgomery. no, we do not see a movement. we do not see that same kind of nottion, but had colvin made that stand, i don't think we would have necessarily seen what happened in december of that year. in october, like we were talking about, mary louise smith makes a
3:39 pm
similar stand. again, no movement around that. we get to december 1st, 1955. >> in effect, these earlier incidents sort of convinced rosa parks and dixon the time was right to make is symbolic stand, refusing to sit in the back of the bus, and then start the boycott as a result of that new arrest? >> there are these meetings of civil rights leaders over the summer with the city around bus segregation, promises are made -- rosa parks refuses to attend those meetings. she says, i'm not one to come to city officials asking for my rights. other civil rights leaders in the community do meet with us officials. promises are made, the city makes promises. the promises are not kept. many people -- in december when parks makes her stand, people are very aware promises have
3:40 pm
been broken. if you look at the leaflet that circulates that calls for the one-day boycott, that leaflet very much locate rosa parks stand in this broader history of claudette colvin's stan. >> the historian douglas brinkley has written of the delay between claudette colvin, her act, and rosa park's arrest, about dr. martin luther king to emerge as a leader. he most likely would not have fled the bus boycott if it had occurred in the spring after claudette colvin's arrest instead of the following winter but he writes, he might have ended up as just another preacher. we will hear what king has to say after the break. we are joined by a woman who made history, claudette colvin, is with us. ♪ [music break]
3:41 pm
3:42 pm
singing "claudette colvin." this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. to dr. martin luther king, jr. speaking december 1955, just days after rosa parks was arrested. the african-american community had gathered to decide whether to begin what became the famous montgomery bus boycott and the young pastor called the decision
3:43 pm
to a vote. >> it has been moved and seconded the resolution will be received and adopted. are you ready for the question that, all in favor, but it been known by standing on your feet. that was the day we started a bus protest which literally electrified the nation. we decided we were not born to take segregated buses any longer. we said if we could just get about 50 or 60 -- 50% or 60% of the negro's of montgomery not to
3:44 pm
ride buses, this would be an effective boycott. foundk that whole day we eight negroes on the buses. and from that day on, that 99.9%t was more than effective. >> that comes from the documentary, "king: a filmed record...montgomery to memphis." tell us about the boycott's impact on you and on the city of montgomery as a whole. >> we became successful. the boycott was a success. it brought down the bus company economically. we were living in king hill but we already had a corporate bust of the time we had to provide our own transportation. for other people, they were
3:45 pm
glad they had come back on an peopleted basis and some tried to test it. eventually, it even doubt. -- it evened out. >> we're talking to claudette colvin, sat down on the bus march 2, 1955, nine months before rosa parks. rosa parks act of defiance launched the bus boycott that was led by you just heard, dr. martin luther king. so you've got to school by car? you were not able to take the bus. >> yes. it was a special bus that would take us to school. >> i want to turn to dr. king a year later. this is very interesting. before we do, jeanne theoharis, talk about this case.
3:46 pm
most people think it was rosa park's arrest that led to the supreme court decision a year later. it was actually the case of claudette colvin and other plaintiffs that wound its way to the supreme court. >> rosa parks' case is in state court. one -- they've had experience with cases in state court. one of the tactics taken to squash a protest was holding up cases in state court. they decided to file a new case in federal court. thedette colvin was one of plaintiffs, mary louise smith was a plan to print one woman is intimidated to take her name off the case. rosa parks is not on that case for a couple of reasons. first, there were the case would just get thrown out because she has a separate case in state
3:47 pm
court and it could muddy the complaint. second, i think our concerns, rosa parks has a political history. her work with the naacp, the naacp getting red bated. >> she was the secretary of the local naacp. she had been challenging the law's four years. >> she was active in the decade before. the political history could become a liability. by june 1956, the naacp had been outlawed in alabama. claudette colvin is a plaintive but another incredible act of courage to be willing to be on that case. it is that case, not the case that rosa parks had, that once its way up to the supreme court, who ultimately decides then to desegregate montgomery's buses
3:48 pm
in december 1956. ask in termske to of the impact of the montgomery bus boycott throughout the rest of the south and the nation, placed in historical context of the civil-rights movement. >> i think there and number of reasons. is this organized mass movement that then is brought to the nation in part because of the increased importance of the media, the mass media. people around the country get to see it in part because many of the leaders and rosa parks herself basically spend that year traveling to make this local mckibben international movement. it launches the career of martin luther king as a civil-rights leader. this 126-year old is kind of brought to the nation as of this will begin, began, historic next
3:49 pm
13 years we have with king. . >> the supreme court decision was covered in "the new york times." i want to turn to martin luther king. somes december 20, 1956, 380 days after december 1 1955, when rosa parks sat down on the bus refusing to get up, which was nine months after claudette colvin sat down on the bus refusing to get up and getting arrested. it was december 20, 1956 that dr. king announces the montgomery bus boycott is over after more than 380 days. >> the executive board of the montgomery improvement 11thiation recommends the
3:50 pm
month old protest against the city buses will be called off and that the negro citizens of montgomery, alabama will return to the buses on and on segregated basis. [applause] recommended that this return to the buses will not take place until the mandate from the united states supreme court is turned over to the federal district court. this morning, the long-awaited mandate from the united states supreme court concerning bus segregation came to montgomery. this mandate expresses in terms that are crystal clear that segregation in public transportation is both legally
3:51 pm
and sociologically invalid. mandate,ght of this and the unanimous vote rendered by the montgomery improvement association about a month ago the year-old protest against city buses is officially called off and the negro citizens of montgomery are urged to return to the buses tomorrow morning and in non-segregated basis. --that was dr. and knocking dr. martin luther king, 30 days after the bus boycott was begun. claudette colvin, where were you that day? >> i was at home. >> what did you think when you heard? >> i was so happy. it endedappy that successfully. washat summer, emmett till
3:52 pm
killed. you were 15. he was from chicago. his mother sent him to be in mississippi with his aunt and uncle and cousins and was ripped out of bed by a white mob and tortured and ended up in the bottom of the river. the story of emmett till. what affected that have on you? >> that hurt me very badly wasuse my classmate already on death row. and later he was legally executed by the electric chair. >> and the significance of that case, jeanne theoharis? >> i think this is one of those many have worked on. i think for many people in montgomery, he will be executed after the boycott, but as claudette colvin was saying, this was a legal lynching. it did not parallel to the lynching of emmett till.
3:53 pm
when people get to the boycott, there is a -- there are many, many strands that bring people to the point they get to to launch this 13-month point cut and certainly one of those is jeremiah reeves's conviction and sitting on death row until it gets to be old enough to be executed. dedication ofent the statue of rosa parks, your ,ense of how history is written they're always the heroes or heroines that are raised. people that do not normally get the recognition, especially in your case, of being the pioneers and the path which of these movements. >> that is true. -- i thinkre is room forory only has room enough
3:54 pm
certain amount of icons. likenk you compare history most historians say, columbus discovered america and it was already populated. but they don't say that columbus discovered america, they should say the european people, their discovery of the new world. >> what you think the rosa parks statue represents? >> cbs -- ken i mentioned that name? they asked the same question. is theyi feel about it had to choose a woman that was close to dr. king, represented dr. king. theking represented nonviolent movement. i was in new york's.
3:55 pm
.he country was divided this support was malcolm x. in new york, they did not want to talk about dr. king. the symbolic act of unveiling a statue of mrs. park's provides an umbrella for all african american women where we can have a discussion about all of the injustice that we have and hardships that we have racismgo through under in america, the land of democracy. >> name some of the women important to you. >> the first one, rosa parks. my mother and my father who supported me.
3:56 pm
and my instructors, my teachers. historically, harriet tubman and sojourner truth. the courage and strength of , and thell's mother four little girls mothers, the four little girls that lost their lives in the burning in birmingham, alabama in the church. >> i would like to ask you, several years later, you moved to new york city. you then become involved in another movement, a movement led by a couple of pharmacists, leon davis and doors turner, when they began to organize the 1199 in new york city. >> yes, but i kept a low profile.
3:57 pm
a co-worker said i was a softie, but they did not know. i remain anonymous. had melly, when usa news in the paper. they could not believe it. they were shocked. believe i made a stand. >> as we wrap up the show, what do you say to young people today that out what message do you have at the end of women's history month? i said,last night, well, keep on moving. the struggle is not over. every day presents a challenge. all of the hard work that we have made progress as african-
3:58 pm
americans, we do not want to regress. we want to progress and get as much formal education. get as much formal education as you can read keep on moving and don't give up. hold on to your dreams. beenaudette colvin, it has an honor speaking to you. you spoke last night in newark, new jersey, on that date, march 28, the date last night was march 28, exactly 45 years to the day when dr. martin luther king spoke at that same church. eight days later in 1968 he would be gunned down in memphis, tennessee. claudette colvin, thank you for joining us, civil-rights pioneer, march 2, 1955 that she sat down on the bus as a 15- year-old teenager in montgomery, alabama and was arrested after
3:59 pm
refusing to give up. theoharis, thank you for being with us. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on