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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 17, 2019 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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04/17/19 04/17/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we glued ourselvlves so this vehicle could not be moveded to the police last night. we want to secure e this bridges part of the action to extension rebellion. wewe want the government to tate action about the climate crisis, but the eco-collapse we are facing. amy: extinction rebellion.
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more than 300 climate activists have been arrested in london this week for taking part in series of direct actions, closing bridges, occupying public landmarks, even supergluing themselves to buildings. we will speak with the founder of extinction rebellion, as well as a prominent environmental lawyer who was jaileafter shshe super glued both of her hands to the ground outside the shell building in london. then to libya, where over 170 people have been killed this month where a libyan american warlord launched an assault on tripoli and the u.n.-recognized government. >> today the position of the clear.ent is really this is a coup. amy: and the international criminal court refuses to probe possible u.s. war crimes in afghanistan just weeks after the trump administration blocked the icc's chief prosecutor from entering the u.s. we will get the latest.
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all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump issued the second veto of his presidency tuesday, blocking a congressional effort to end u.s. support for the saudi-led war in yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians and sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis. the war powers resolution n was passed by the house earlier this month, following its passage in the senate last month, with seven republicans joining minority democrats. it was the first time congress has invoked the war powers act of 1973 to end a u.s. president's ununilateral decisin to wage war abroad. congressmember ro khanna, who brought the bill before the house, said in a statement -- "the yemen war powers resolution was a bipartisan, bicameral effort and supported by some of the president's most trusted republican allies. this resolution nonetheless was
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a major win. it sends a clear signal to the saudis that they need to lift their blblockade and allow humanitarian assistance into yemen if they care about their relationship with congress. it will also caution this and future administrations from going to war without first seeking authorization from congress." bernie sanders, who led the effort to pass the resolution in the senate, said via twitter he was disappointed but not surprised by the veto, adding, "the peoplple of yemen desperaty needed humananitarian help, note bombs." attorney general william barr issued an order tuesday that could keep thousands of asylum seekers locked up indefinitely. the order, a reversal of existing policy, would affect asylum seekers who enter into the country in between legal ports of entry by barring immigrgration judges frorom grag bonds for ththeir rerelease.
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asasylum seekekers who e enter e u.s. at official ports of entry are already unable to be released on bond.. the order is set to go into effect in n 90 days. omar jadwat ofofhe aclu's immigranants' rights projoject d in a statement -- "this is the trump administration's latest assault on people fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in the united states. our constitution does not allow the government to lock up asylum seekers without basic due process. we'll see the administration in court." in more immigration news, the trump administration is resuming its so-called "remain in mexico" policy after an appeals court stayed a lower court ruling that had blocked the controversial practice. the policy forces asylum seekers to wait in mexico while their cacases make theirir way thrhroh u.s.s. courts, which lalal expes and rights groups say is illegal. over 1 1100 migrants who entnted the united states via the southern border have been sent back to mexico to wait out thehr court t cases since the e policy started.d.
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democrats are seeking information from the acting homeland security secretary kevin mcaleenan after repoports emerged last week that president trump told mcaleenan he would pardon him if he was put in jail for directing border agents to block entry to asylum seekers, which is illegal. trump reportedly had the exchange with mcaleenan during a visit to the border in calexico, california, when he was the customs and border protection commissioner, just two days before trump promoted him to fill the post left vacant by ousted dhs secretary kirstjen nielsen. the house judiciary committee is also seeking documents related to a march 21 meeting between trump and nielsen about reinstating trump's zero tolerance e family separationn policy and shutting down the u.s.-mexico border. the deadline to respond to the committee's request is april 30. in london, climate activists from the group extinction rebellion continued their campaign tuesday, blocking major roads and bridges and bringing traffic to a standstill. demonstrators are demanding the government commit to a zero carbon economy by 2025.
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police arrested over 200 people in london. we'll have more with two of the ,ctivists who participated after headlines.s. extinction rebellion co-founder clare farrell and international environmental lawyer farhana yamin. back in the united states, extinction rebellion activists took aim at the republican party, protesting in front of the republican national -- the rnc headquarters in washington, d.c. capitol police arrested a reported eight members of the group as they occupied city streets. demonstrators called on passersby to support their actions and take a stand against fossil fuel-funded politicians. >> the rnc is a criminal enterprise and has a history of our species. they are the center of climate denial. we're out here today as part of the international extinction rebellion to let the rnc know that we know what they're doing.
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we're going to continue to call attention to their denial of how they are ruining our planet. amy: more actions across the u.s., the u.k., and other parts of the world are expected in the coming days. parisians held a vigil tuesday night as france continues to mourn the burning of t the famed notre-dadame cathedral. frfrench president emmananuel mn -- rescue e efforts succeeded in saving some of the most treasured relics, including the crown of thorns. french president emmanuel macron vowed to rebuild notre dame within five years s as donatiois for r the reconstructionon effot reacached nearly $1 billion. paris's prosecutor said the investigation into the cause of the fire, believed to be an accident, will be long and complex. authorities say won't know the full extent of damage to the cathedral until it is cleared as safe for inspectors. in sudan, ousted president omar
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al bashir has been moved to a maxiximum security prison. al-bashir was overthrown last week following a months-long popular uprising calling for his resignation. the african union warned sudan's transitional military council tuesday they have 15 days to install a civilian government or face possible removal from the african union. protesters have been staging a massive sit-in in the capital khartoum, demanding civilian rule. in egypt, lawmakers approved new constitutional amendments tuesday that would allow president abdul fattah al-sisi to remain in power until 2030. he is currently scheduled to leave the post in 2022 at the end of his second and current term. the amendments will now be put to a referendum. critics wawarn that the changes will only increase sisi and the military's authoritarian reach. sisi's crackdown on dissent has led to the detention of tens of thousands of people since he came into power in 2014. last year, human rights watch reported that around 15,000 civilians, including hundreds of children, have been referred to
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military prosecutors. in news from indonesia, , early results show president joko "jokowi" widodo has been reelecected, defeating former special forces military commander prabowo subianto by about 10 percentage points. prabowo is the former son-in-law of indonesia's longtime dictator suharto. investigative journalist allan nairn recently revealed prabowo had made plalans to stagage mass arrests of political opponents and his current allies if he won. visit to see our recent interview with allan -- allan nairn on the election. in libya, the humanitarian crisis is growing as fighting continues to escalate around the capital tripoli. the u.n. says that more than 18,000 people have been displaced in the past two weeks. the u.n. is attempting to relocate jailed refugees and migrants, but they warn some 3000 locked up migrants are now trapped in or around the combat zone. on tuesday, at least four people were killed during heavy shelling on the southern outskirts of tripoli according
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to local reports. libya's deputy prime minister said that renegade general tuesday khalifa haftar, who is leading the eastern-based libyan national army's offensive on tripoli, is attemptiting to stae a military coup.p. we will have more on this story later in the broadcast. in israel, a court ruled tuesday that an investigator for human rights watch must leave the -- leave israel by may 1. omar shakir is the israel and palestine director for human rights watch. the israeli government revoked his work visa last year under a law that bars entry to foreigners who call for boycotts of israel or israeli settlements. in a statement, human rights watch denied that shakir or the organization have ever called for boycotts of israel, adding -- "the decision sends the chilling message that those who criticize the involvement of businesses in serious abuses in israeli settlements risk being barred from israel and the israeli-occupied west bank." human rights watch says it will appeal the deportation order to the israeli supreme court.
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digital freedom advocates are calling for the release of swedish programmer and data privacy activist ola bini, who has been detained in ecuador since last thursday. his arrest came hours after wikileaks founder julian assange was dragged by british police from the ecuadorian embassy in london. bini is being accused of hacking government computers in ecuador. prosecutors in ecuador said they plan to charge bini with plotting to blackmail ecuadorian president lenin moreno. critics say bini is being targeted because of his close relationship with wikileaks and julian assange. this is his lawyerer, carlosos soria. >> he encrypts information so as a matter of fact, hackers s as u have to call them, do not have access to information and cannot steal it. he does the opposite of what he's being accused of. amy: in colorado, schools across 20 districts in the denver area are closed today as authorities hunt for a woman they say
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is infatuated with the columbine massacre and traveled to denver on monday. 18 year old sol pais reportedly bought a gun and ammunition after arriving in denver and made threats that the fbi say are credible but non-specific. denver area schools, including columbine high school, put in -- increased security tuesday after the news broke. the 20th anniversary of the mass shooting at columbine high, in which two students killed 12 fellow students and one teacher, is this saturday, april 20. a woman is suing controversial harvard law professor alan dershowitz for defamation, in relation to an ongoing sexual abuse case involving his client, billionaire sex offender jeffrey epstein. virginia giuffre, who alleges epstein sexuxually abused and trafficked her in the early 2000's, starting when she was 16 years old, says that dershowitz participated in the sex
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trafficking and accuses him of later falsely claiming she fabricated the accusations and that had never met her. the lawsuit, filed in the southern district of new york tuesday, brings to light an affidavit by maria farmer, a former employee of epstein who says she frequently witnessed school age girls coming to epstein's new york city mansion and that on a number of occasions dershowitz would go upstairs with the underage girls. farmer also revealed she and her sister were also assaulted by epstein, as well as his alleged madam ghislaine maxwell. she was 26 at the time of the alleged assaults in 1996 and her sister just 15. dershowitz, who is also a close friend of epstein's, helped him secure a plea deal after he was arrested in 2006 for sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in florida. dershowitz has denied the charges against him himself.
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in new jersey, rutgers university faculty and union members are celebrating after reaching a tentative agreement with the schools a administration, avoiding what would have been the first strike in rutgers 253 you're history. teaching assistants will see a pay raise, gender pay gaps, as well as pay gaps between different campuses will be closed come in nontenure lecturers will also be granted contracts of up to seven years. this was a administration also agreed to guarantee a workplace free of sexual and online harassment. tentative contract will now be voted on by union members.s. residents of papua are mourning the death of west papuan peace advocate neles tebay, who died sunday at the age of 55 after a battle with cancer. tebay was the coordinator of the papua peace network and a catholic priest, who covered human rights stories and military conflict in the region for the jakarta post and other outlets. he was credited with helping establish a dialogue between the indonesian government and west papuans who have been seeking
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independence since the 1960's. tens of thousands have been killed by indonesian security forces since the in 2017, 1990's. indonesian president joko widodo appointed tebay as an adviser on indonesia's relationship with west papua. neles tebay continued to tirelessly campaign for peace even as his cancer progressed in recent years. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. extinction rebellion. that's the name of the movement shutting down central london this week in a series of direct actions as activists close bridges, occupy public landmarks, and even superglue themselves to buildings to demand urgent action to combat climate change. police have arrested nearly 300 people so far and the protests are continuing. today, activists have halted trains at canary wharf -- a
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financial hub of the city -- with two protesters climbing a train car and another supergluing his hand to a train window. earlier this week, protesters shut down waterloo bridge and oxford circus, with others supergluing themselves to the british headquarters of the shell oil company. this is farhana yamin, a leading climate lawyer and extinction rebellion activist who glued her hands to theavement i in front of the shell building. the legalrorocesss pretetty bren r rig now a and we are having to breakak laws becaususf the an action of 30 years now. amy: in a separate act of nonviolent civil disobobedience, four activists glued and chained themselves under a vehicle parked on the waterloo bridge. this is climate activist ben moss. sowe gluedd ourselves to this
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ththis vehicle could not b be md by the p police last nightht. the reason we're doing that t is we want to sececure this bririds part of the actions for extinction rebellion. wewe are doing this because we wawant the government to takee action about the climate crisis, about the ecological collapse we are facing. ththere has been too much in action. we're taking radical actions to mamake sure the government actsn what is o our collectivee responsibilityty. amy: the protest are taking across -- taking place across europe and around the world as part of a week-long campaign organized by extinction rebellion. the group started in the united kingdom just last year and has now spread to dozens of countries. the growing collective of activists are demanding governments commit to legally binding measures to slash consumption, reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, and create a citizens' assembly to oversee progress. environmental journalist and activist george monbiot wrote in a column for the guardian --
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"the success of this mobilization depends on us. it will reach the critical threshold only if enough of us cast aside denial and despair, and join this exuberant, proliferating movement. the time for excuses is over. the struggle to overthrow our life-denying system has begun." for more, we go now to o london where we're joined by two guests. clare farrell is one of the co-founders of the environmental action group extinction rebellion. and we're joined by farhana yamin, a leading environmental lawyer who helped negotiate the landmark 2015 paris agreement. she has now joined the rebellion. she was arrested after supergluing herself to the shell headquarters in london yesterday. we welcome both of you to democracy now! farhana yamin, you are just out of jail. can you explain what you did yesterday, why you got arrested? >> yeah, i join the mass civil disobedience that has started in
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london beginning on monday, and i did it because of the inaction of companies like shell who have funded campaigns of misinformation and lobbyist governments to not take action, which is why we are here at this critical time. just to let you know, this civil disobedience is happening all around the world. extinction rebellion is standing in solidarity with all of those people who have been fighting climate injustice from around the world. i think there are around 50 countries involved in the international support for the rebellion taking here in london, and each one is fighting against land aggregation, against human rights abuses, and the toxicity of pollution in their own countries. juan: clare farrell, could you you about the urgency that and the supporters of your movement feel right now and why you feel it is so necessary to do this massive civil
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disobedience? it has been well over 30 and timedenial wasting, really. we have pushed ourselves up against the edge of a window, a time frame that we have to act. carbon emissions is still going up. they are said to go up again this year. globally, the facts are quite clear that we're on a catastrophic course and we have wasted a huge amount of time. we are not prepared to stand by and watch as waste the small window we have left. amy: farhana yamin, can you describe the action yesterday? startedction actually on monday with protesters climbing onto the balcony outside the unmarked building, which is the shell headquarters in the u.k.
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they honored the work of polly higgins, who has been cide law,ng for eco which is to hold account companies and governments for the e criminal damamage to the earth. asrotested there yesterday that action was ending, because i feel -- it is absurd i was walking off in handcuffs for criminal damage to the shell building when shell itself has been one of the biggest polluters who has caused the largest amount of the reversible, very serious harm that is happening all around the world, the climate destruction we're seeing as a result of 30 years of too little, too late. amy: you glued your hands? >> i did. it is the very first time i am done anything like this. probably used a little too much superglue and they were
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completely bolted down on the pavement. i had tried to get to the door, but that was not possible. juan: what was the reaction of the police on this relatively new tactic of supergluing of the various protesters? how were they able to finally get you free? the supergluing actions have been going on for some time, actually. i don't think a did anything particularly new other than to do it myself. there are special solvents they use and the police acted with utter professionalism and courtesy. for me, the most important thing was to stand in solidarity with all of the people around the seeing climate devastation, especially in developing countries. that is who i have acted for in the climate change negotiations, especially those in africa, who are saying the consequences of shortages in will be experiencing an already are famines and droughts that are directly implicated by climate
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change. amy: you're certainly acting in every arena, farhana yamin. you helped draft the 2015 cares agreement, credited with getting the goal of net zero emissions by midcentury into the agreement. the smallbehalf of island nations. -- you have abouout moved from working inside the system, this agreement you helped forge, to direct action. >> we need those laws. agreement, theis climate change act in the u.k., but they are not delivering enough and they're not going fast enough. in many parts of the world, as you know in the u.s., amy, things are going backward. we have laws that were put in place that are being repealed or challenged or disassembled by fossil fuel interest. that is why i have added the
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word "activist" to what i do as a lawyer. i feel every signal person is called upon to join extinction rebellion's call for massive civil disobedience to see everyone is needed to show alvarion -- shout out loudly and boldly and to not just think this is somebody else's day job. absolutely committed to the legal process. i believe in the rule of law. i will carry on writing and fighting when i can, but right now i feel the most important thing that people can do is come and join us on the streets, join whatever rebellion is taking place near you. if there isn't one, set one up. we had 1.6 million students around the world on march 12 in nearly every country of the world. with the sunrise movement in the
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u.s. i think people are beginning to understand we sadly have to take different measures and slightly extraordinary measures and rely on our elected politicians that haven't delivered so far. juan: clare farrell, could you elaborate on the core demands of your movement to the government? tell the truth, reduce carbon emissions, create citizens assemblies to oversee the process? is we think demand because of the grave risk everybody faces, there should be a public information campaign which should be the responsibility of any government to educate the people if they are in danger and also to work with other institutions, possibly also the media, whatever it takes to get people to really come up to speed and understand the position they are in. the second demand for net zero carbon emissions by 2025 has been amended. i believe it also now includes a rapid addressing by the
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emergency crisis. the third demand, which i think personally is the most exciting, is for citizens assembly on climate change. in the extinction crisis. what that calls for is a structural political change, which i think is crucial for people to understand. they want to talk about particularly what the environmentalists want to take away from them and for me, this is absolutely giving something to people in a very big and serious way. if it happens structurally, then it is not a policy that can be massaged figures. hopefully, it will stand to last in significantly restore democratic process in the u.k. amy: clare farrell, why you named it extinction, why the group has decided on this name, extinction rebellion and what
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your plans are going forward from today? it was partt of -- of a long process to finalize the name. it was quite challenging. the rebellion part was quite straightforward because we have been over it -- technically, that is what we were going to organize. the extinction part i think is useful because it helps us not and to refrain the crisis name the scientific community has admitted that human extinction is a possibility now, but also it feels like it sort of takes it away from just been a climate change debate and helps us to talk about the broader picture, which is that we face multiple crises at the moment and the extinction event is a big part of that, even if we could fix climate change tomorrow we are still losing life at a rate which i think our
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society and species cannot survive. for the plants coming up, i know some people plan to be a top of the train today. there are some groups from the -- oxford circus is just receiving a much heavier police presence and there are lots of arrests. the will be groups swarming london streets, which basically means going and moving and doing mobile and temporary roadblocks, moving around the city. the sites to get t close down, groups will be blocking roads and many, many places around the center of london. thehis is the start of campaign of mass civil disobedience. the intention is it isn't over after a few days, but the intention is it will inspire others to take forward their own
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actions and become a big mass movement all over the world. i hope in the months and weeks beyond this that we will see many, many more actions coming up. of thesere, the impact student strike that have occurred and of course the swedish activist greta thunberg, 16 years old, expected to meet with pope francis today. how is that affecting the face of the movement around climate change? youth movement is very important. i think when you look at a movement or a moment in history like this, having many movements that support each other is really important. recently interesting the childrenwherere
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who walked out of school over gun control actually, you look at the disruptive nature of disobedience and direct action, you know, when the kids walked out of s school, they took up te time of the police, they stopped her teachers from doining theirr jobsbs, antheyey pull their paparents out of theheir jobs as well to come and pick them up. for children to walk out of school is extremely powerful. they have a huge capacity to disrupt the lives of the adults they have contact with. i believe that is had a big impact on american politics as well. lots of parents decided to move into that space. it is exciting to think about the breath of the impact on the long-term impact of the youth movement as well as the energy and the excitement they also bring. as: finally, farhana yamin, you are getting arrested, you said we are having to break all rather than make law. what message do you have to diplomats, to scientists around
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what needs to be done right now? >> come and join, everyone, as part -- become an activist. no one is saying g stop doing science or diplomacy, but recognize those are not going to deliver unless we fundamentally rewire our economies, and part of that means rewiring our political system -- which have not delivered. those systems at the moment are hijacked or corrupted into slow, obsesessed with many other thin. it takes disruption of this kind to frankly push some of those things off the agenda and start focusing on the crisis affecting humanity. amy: and your message to president trump? ? >> i think he is aware of how big the comment crisis is. i think he is aware of how big the climate crisis is.
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we can transform our societies and we can use renewable energy, resilienceity, use and community building to address all of the impact that we will have. that is what happened with the moonshot. we had lots of different technologies developed from that that actually made us more hope.rous and gave us i hope that prpresident trump cn put his faith and all of the things going on in the u.s. economy to the carbon eyes it and build resilience. amy: farhana yamin, thank you for being with us, international environmental lawyer who helped draft the landmark 2015 paris agreement. that president trump is pulling the u.s. out of. she was arrested outside the shell headquarters in london tuesday after supergluing her hands to the ground. clare farrell is cofounder of extinction rebellion back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to libya where at least four people died in a heavy shelling on tuesday in the capitol city of tripoli. according to the united nations, over 170 people have been killed and 750 injured since a libyan warlord launched an assault on tripoli on april 4. the fighting pits the u.n.-backed government of national accord against a militia led by former libyan general khalifa haftar, who already controls much of eastern libya. the libyan government has accused the united arab emirates, saudi arabia and egypt of funding and arming haftar's offensive.
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meanwhile, qatar has called for the enforcement of an arms embargo against haftar. libyans have taken to the streets to protest the escalating violence. >> there's a true invasion of tripoli from haftar and his military. they were starting to attack the capital of libya, tripoli, and the government of national accord. this happened around 15 days ago. today the position of the government is very clear. this is a coup. he has to go back with his troops to where he was before this happened. amy: the fighting has displacedd 18,000 people but authorities
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fear the humanitarian crisis could quickly escalate if f the fighting continues. human rights groups s are alslso sounding the alarm over the safety of the many migrants and refugees who pass through libya, thousands of whom are currently in migrant prisons. libya has been plagued by factional fighting since a u.s.-led nato intervention in 2011 toppled l long-time authoritararian leader moammmmar gaddafi. to talk more about the escalating violence, we go now to london to speak to libya political analyst anas el gomati, director of the tripoli-based sadeq institute, libya's first independent research organization. welcome to democracy now! for people who have no idea about what is going on in libya, can you explain what exactly is taking place, who is haftar, what is the u.n.-backed government, what is happening, what are people dying? >> since the overthrow of moammar gaddafi in 2011, there have been at least three or four
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instances like this. the first was in 2013 when the country effectively split in two. your two rival parliaments, governments. in may 2014, wants to counterterrorism operation which was at then lay veiled attempted coup. it and still l ongoing. he took into a foothold in benghazi record territory through military support delivered from the uae and france and has been moving swiftly across the country. in february, he allegedly was going to cut a deal with this new u.n.-backed government that withinme into existence 2014 and 2016, which was supposed to deliver a consensus government. the prime minister of that government is not of any of f te two rival factions.
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around 3000ed with votes. effectively, no skin in the game. haftar's punching back and was almost going to agree to a deal to a allow haftar to take contrl of the libyan national army to a court the international recognition that has been acquired from the u.n. the past couple of years. that deal went wrong. last month during a visit by the chief of the u.n. when haftar launched an offensive in tripoli two weeks ago. and since then, the fighting has been catastrophic. factions.wo those who believe in creating a civilian backed government, democratic one, adhere to the ideals of the revolution. many of the libyans came around to support and defend against the return of mililitary rule. and you haveve haftar who is, in some way, trying to re-create that ruled that had gone on for 42 years and trying to benend te
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will of those that exist live in the most densely populated part it is been a very nasty couple of years but this is just one chapter in a very long series of chapters in libya civil war. juan: could you talk about the role of france? france is -- has been babacking haftar. why is france backing him? >> for many states, i mean, many states have their own narrow interest. in terms of france's consistent with the joint alliance >> launched with the uae, egypt, saudi arabia is so mbs effectively and president sisi, this new club of autocrats that have emerged since the air spring over the last couple of years, have aligned themselves to those autocrats for a variety
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of reasons. france tends to benefit through its relationship and try to get concessions through haftar. the id you can negotiate with one man for simpler relationship and an elected government that may change after couple of years, but also comes down to a very ideological narrative that has been not only propagated in libya, but throughout the arab world by the uae, which tries to paint all forms of political opposition, popolitical dissidents, as terrorism. a war on terrorism is a thinly veil attempt to rereturn autocratatic rule and d try to mainintain the status quo, creae these relationships where you have narrow interest, narrow club of individuals thahat can then go on to deliver your arategic interest frorom
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distancece, through a proxyxy. in that respect, f france's part of a wider club, and alliance, footingthat has found , giving it an arab dialect and one that is a thinly veiled attempt to return the air world to the autocratic rule. juan: can you talk about erik prince and his former mercenary organization blackwater in libya? >> it is the uae's role behind this. over half $1 billion to the frontier service group, which is now led by eric prince, formerly of blackwater. allegedly, according to western ,rint media, erik prince alongside the uae, established an air base, military base, drone base in eastern libya between 2014-2016 this is well
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documented by the u.n. panel of --erts where the year libya during a sustainable peace, a concession by both sides in the civil war in 2016 when they announced d the beginning g of s do chapter in libya's history and deliver this governments national accord in tripoli was the very year the uae violated the arms embargo in libya at unprecedented levels and began to establish the final pieces of this air base in eastern libya. it possesses a massive arsenal and houses at least twowo air tractors, which are industrial kind of aircraft with an to surface m missiles. this kind of move -- it is difficult to pin down. i'm using the word "a legend" because -- "alleged" because i don't want to get sued.
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in the last two years, that arsenal of drones and air tractors have been used to support haftar's ground offenses in benghazi and displaced over 100,000 people and led to 1700 people being imprisoned. and many of those ground invasions are being investigated by the icc for war crimes. i think it is that kind of tacit, underlying discrete military assistance the uae provided that the french provided that has not only bolstered haftar in the eaeast f the cocountry, but the platform and the pretext of his latest offensive in tripoli. we should remind ourselves this was done in the eyes and in the presence of antonio guterres, the chief of the u.n. it was not a mistake. it was timed to coincide with his trip and timed to alert to indicateonents
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to him he is immune from diplomatic pressure, from cocondemnation from sanction. the u.n. over the past two weeks has been fumbling a security resolution, the language seems to suggest they cannot condemn when onlysanction him seven months ago they sanction a small group from central libyaya that went t into t tripoli in september and within 72 hours, that group and individual body was put on the sanctions list. two weeks since haftar's offensive that has resulted in at least 20,000 people being didisplaced with use of missiles that go against the geneva cocoention andnd strike in densy popopulated areas, the u.n. is still unable to mention him by name. that is the danger that he enjoys this diplomatic immunity. on the service, it shows he backs the u.n.
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who haftaru explain is? libyan american? go back to 1969. he is a 50 year legacy of deception and affection. in 1969, he defected from the septemberhe coup of 1969 and affected against the battle and chad -- and defected again in the battle of chad. joined another by theion in 1992 led former libyan ambassador to the netherlands and defected and went back to moammar gaddafi in cairo but reneged and defected from moammar gaddafi enjoy the and joined the revolution.
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the latest of that has been negotiated by the u.n. since the first memeeting between katherie -- working toward a political solution. he reneged in the last deal in front of the u.n. chief. this is the most untrustworthy character in the last 50 years in political history. he is like pinocchio but more strings. belief at the moment is many people in libya are asking themselves, how do you bring someone like this with that kind of checkered history to negotiation table and expect them to agree to anything and expect them to live up to the expectations? juan: is that is true of his long and checkered history, why has the opposition in tripoli been so unable to mass sufficient support to defeat him? could you talk about the problems within the so-called
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u.n. section coalition government in tripoli? >> it effectively is civilian appointed government by the u.n. and designed to not represent any of haftar's opponents. they only came into opposition to him a few weeks ago. in the words of the prime minister, he said "i feel stabbed in the back." many have thought he might have been a stabilizing factor, but had engaged in good faith. groups on the ground have emerged since to 11 our pluralistic will stop haftar has tried to paint them as sympathizers. those groups have emerged in 2011 over a wide variety of different political trends and beliefs.
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but what coalesces and utilizes the conceptual thread is many of them for a grievance and other reasons the last 42 years to not want to return to military rule. many of them are banned by a few things like the ideal of social justice, pluralism, and many don't agree. many of them have been working to try to mask and use that grievance to acquire financial interest and try to acquire truth,-- the underlying groups came into existence that have suffered under rule and despise moammar gaddafi. they might not have been ready to fight for the gna, but they would be willing to fight against haftar in an attempt to stop the return of military rule. , thank youl gomati
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for being with us director of , the tripoli-based sadeq institute, libya's first independent research organization. when we come back, the icc saying they won't go after those investigating the united states involvement in war crimes in afghanistan. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalalez. juan: the international criminal court announced friday it will not pursue an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committeded by the e united states and other actors in afghanistan. the court suggested the u.s.'s lack of cooperation with t the investigatioion was behind the decision. earlier this month, the u.s. government revoked the visa of , fatou chief prosecutor bensouda. amy: a 2016 report accused u.s. military of totorturing at least 61 prisoners in afghanistan to an ongoing war. it also accuses cia of subjecting at least 27 prisoners to torture, including rape, at a number of cia prison sites.
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for more we're joined by , katherine gallagher, senior staff attorney at the center for constitutional rights. she filed victims-representations with the pre-trial chamber in support of the investigation. welcome to democracy now! what has happened? >> what we saw on friday was a very dangerous decision from the pretrial chamber of the icc. .t was fairly misguided if with the pretrial chamber claims it wanted to do was bolster the credibility of the international criminal court and operate in the interest of justice, including the interest of victims, it went in the opposite direction. be only people who could applauding this decision, frankly, are donald trump and john bolton. you had victims groups from afghanistan, the terms representations of individuals who were detained as part of the u.s. torture program file victims representations on behalf of tens of thousands of people.
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of 2017,he winter 2018, afghan civil society groups literally risked their lives to collect victims representations to say make this investigation go forward and impunity. the same happened in my case of getting victims representations from two men who continued to be detained in guantanamo. chamber bizarrely, frankly, said it is not in their interest. one cacan only conclude this is the result of some serious political pressure by the united states, including not only on the court, but member states of the court. juan: i want to ask about the implications, not j just the trp administratition, but some formr bush officials like dick cheney and donald rumsfeld are also glad these days of this decision, but what is the implication of the ability of the u.s. govovernment to effectively intimidate an
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international body like this? >> that is precisely why it is decision.gerous it since the message that probably works. whether it is russia, who is looking to be investigagated, whether for israel -- palestine join the icc -- this has obstructed and you will be rewarded with impunity. i think for the member states, of whom there are 122, who believe in international justice, they need to send a clear message we back the court and this investigation should proceed. amy: president trump applauded the decision saying in a statement, "since the creation of thehe icc, the united states has consistently declined to join the court because of its broad, unaccountable the threatal powers, it poses to american sovereignty and other deficiencies that render it illegitimate. any attempt to target american-israeli come or allied personnel for prosecution will
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be met with a swift and vigorous response." explain the response, for example, what happened with one of the icc judges. >> a couple of things to unpack. first of all, it is true the united date is not a member state of the icc. the reason why individuals can come within the jurisdiction of the court is because u.s. chose to operate on the territory of member states. it chose to set of black sites, detention centers, commit acts of torture. it has brought itself through its actions of a global rendition and torture program into the purview of the icc. in terms of responses from the court, we did see statements made, but i frankly don't think we saw a strong enough response for member states. that includes those in eastern europe -- lithuania, poland, romania -- and the other european states were jordan or djibouti, states that are implicated in ways of furthering
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the torture program. what did they say to the icc prosecutor? today pledged their support? that i think we e want to see happen if this appeals, which we understand the prosecutor filing will go forward. and in terms of u.s. officials are you mentioned dick cheney -- george bush, george tenet these are all individuals who could be within the scope of the investigation. there's also gina haspel, person who run a black site not in afghanistan as far as we know, but she is now the head of the who we haveident seen time and again does not believe in rule of law. and believes he is above the law. so when he has gina haspel running the cia right now, we have to ask, what is happening in other countries around the world? what is it they don't want investigatated? these are not crimes only of the past. ifif you ask afghan civil socie,
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they will say this also gives a green light to the taliban. the purported reason why the u.s. went to the endless war in afghanistan was to protect afghan c civilians. and with this decision, it has done the absolute opposite. it has empowered warlords. amy: katie gallagher, i want to switch topics. trump issued the second veto of his presidency tuesday, blocking a congressional effort to end u.s. support for the saudi have an led warar in yemen, which has killed thousands of civilianans, leading to the greatest to monetary catastrophe in the world. your response? >> we saw finally a very, very late response from congress saying let's get out of the business of assisting war crimes and crimes against committed he. what has been happening against yemeni civilians for years now. and in the face of finally saying let's stop backing saudi arabia, this is what donald
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trump did. it is another example of lawlessness, of impunity, of a civilians, ofbout individuals. it is more cruelty. juan: in the little time we have left, attorney general barr's decision, directive to immigration judges to deny bond to those who are detained and seeking asylum in the u.s.? >> the first reaction would be to remind everyone that asylum -- seeking asylum is not a crime. in fact, under international conventitions like the refugee convention or the convention against torture -- which prohibits sending a person back to a place where they will be tortured -- it is actually a right. it is a human right to seek asylum. what the trump administration through barr's proposal is setting forth is something that is unbound by law, both international law and contrary
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to u.s. law, which says asylum seekers and people deserve due prococess. again, it is a truly lawless and cruel move. amy: we want to thank you so much for being with us katherine , gallagher, senior staff attorneyey at the center for constitutional rights. that does it for our broadcast. you can sign up for our newsletter by sending the word 66816.cynow to we will be presenting her documentary, four days in western sahara, africa's last colony at university of california berkeley on april 27 at 6:00 p.m. check our website for details. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, nenew york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!w!]
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