tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 5, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
03/05/21 03/05/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> many millions of workers are earning starvation wages. and i underlined that, starvation wages, in this country. i would love to hear anybody get up here and tell me that they could live on seven those $.25 an hour, eight dollars an hour, nine dollars an hour. you can't. amy: as the senate votes to
begin debate on president biden's $1.9 trillion covid relief package, senator bernie sanders is pushing an amendment to reinsert into the bill an increase to the federal minimum wage. we will talk about the fight for $15 with the reverend william barber of the poor people's campaign. then the house has passed h.r.1 -- the most sweeping pro-democracy bill in decades at a time when republicans are pushing over 250 state laws to restrict voting access. we will speak to newly elected new york congressmember mondaire jones. >> many people were surprised that i defeatea billionaire that tried to purchase this congressional seat but my election should not be the exception of the rule. rather, should be the norm. once we passed h.r.1, it will be. amy: plus, as the house passes the george floyd justice in policing act, we will speak to longtime organizer mariame kaba author of the new book "we do this 'til we free us:
abolitionist organizing and transforming justice." all that and mor coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the senate has begun work on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package after vice president kamala harris broke a 50-to-50 tie on a procedural vote allowing debate to proceed thursday. but that debate quickly ground to a halt after wisconsin republican senator ron johnson forced senate clerks to read the entire text of the stimulus bill aloud -- more than 100,000 words spanning 628 pages. >> as the american rescue act of 2021, section two table of contents, the table of contents
for this act is as follows -- section one, short title. section two, table of contents. title one, nutrition and forestry. amy: the clerks began reading mid-afternoon on thursday and finished after midnight -- 10 hours and 43 minutes later. the legislation now heads to a session known as a vote-a-rama, where any senator will be able to offer an amendment that could drag out debate for hours or even days. the united states recorded nearly 1800 new covid-19 deaths thursday, pushing the u.s. death toll since the start of the pandemic to over 520,000 -- by -- 520,000. for the first time seven-day , a average of vaccinations has topped 2 million doses, though just 8.4% of the u.s. population is fully vaccinated. on thursday, white house press secretary jen psaki defended president biden's remark that republican governors who've lifted mask mandates were guilty
of neanderthal thinking. >> he believes if we are going to get this pandemic under control, we need to follow public health guidelines. was simply asking the american people to abide by wearing masks for 100 days. we are around a 40. 60 more days. amy: on wednesday, alabama republican governor kay ivey said she would end a state-wide mask mandate on april 9, joining mississippi and texas. alabama has one of the lowest covid-19 vaccination rates in the united states. "the wall street journal" and "the new york times" are reporting top aides to governor andrew cuomo pressured state health officials to alter a july report in order to cover up the true number of nursing homes deaths from covid-19. the report was edited to only count people who died inside nursing facilities, excluding those who got sick there and
then were sent to hospitals and later died there, leaving out thousands of fatalities. the report was released as a response to criticism of cuomo's march order in barring nursing 2020 homes from rejecting recovering coronavirus patients that were discharged from hospitals, which some feared would further spread the virus. last spring, governor cuomo signed legislation shielding nursing home executives from lawsuits related to their handling of the pandemic. this comes as one of three women who've accused cuomo of sexual misconduct gave her first tv interview thursday. former aide charlotte bennett told cbs news norah o'donnell that governor cuomo repeatedly made inappropriate comments to her, including questions about whether her experience with sexual assault had impacted her sex life. >> he asked me if age difference mattered. he aoxplained tt he was fine with anyon@ or 22. >> how old areou?
>> 25. what we you thiing as he asking u these estions? >> i thoughthe is trng t sleewith me. the goveor is trying to sep withe. and i deeply uncomfortable and iave to get out of this room as soon as possible. amy: charlotte bennett said she did not believe cuomo's statement wednesday acknowledging his accusers' claims constituted a true apology. she said -- "it's not an issue of my feelings. it's an issue of his actions." top florida democrats have called on the acting u.s. attorney general and the fbi to investigate republican governor ron desantis for corruption and wrongdoing after reports that most residents over 65 in a wealthy key largo community had received vaccines by mid-january. 17 residents donated $5000 each to desantis' political committee prior to the vaccinations. the former republican governor
of illinois, bruce rauner, also a resident of the community, increased his contribution to $250,000. this comes amid accusations that governor desantis prioritized wealthy communities that were connected to political donors for vaccination pop-up sites. in geneva, switzerland, members of doctors without borders held a protest outside the headquarters of the world trade organization thursday, demanding a waiver on patent rights for covid-19 drugs and vaccines. south africa and india are leading an effort to that would temporarily allow for the production of generic versions of the life-saving products. stephen coish, direor-genal of doctors without borders-switzerland, joined thursday's protest. >> if we had the waiver, in a manner of countries we can scale up production which would let for dgnostics, medicines, that vaccines to get where they are needed most. rightow we are seeing just a triple does trickle making it to
the global south and this is just not acceptable in today's world. amy: in arkansas, the man photographed with his feet propped on house speaker nancy pelosi's desk during the january 6 assault on the capitol shouted at a federal judge thursday that it was not fair that he was being held in jail ahead of his trial. richard barnett has pleaded not guilty to felony charges, including obstruction of congress and disorderly conduct in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon. in virginia, federal agents have arrested former trump administration official federico klein, charging him with assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon during the january 6 assault on congress. -- january 6 attack. klein worked on donald trump's 2016 campaign and served as special assistant in the bureau of western hemisphere affairs at the state department. he's also a former u.s. marine who was deployed in iraq. this comes as federal agents are probing communications between pro-trump insurrectionists and members of congress or their staffers. on thursday, the u.s. capitol
police requested a 60-day extension of the national guard's mission helping to protect congress. approd, as ma as 2200 troo could remain on capitol hill into may. the senate energy committee has advanced interior secretary nominee deb haaland's confirmation to a full senate vote, where haaland is almost ceain to be confirmed. senator lisa murkowski of alaska was the only republican on the committee who supported haaland's nomination. murkowski said she struggled with her decision as her constituency in oil-rich alaska is concerned about haaland's opposition to fracking, pipelines, and fossil fuel development. if confirmed, deb haaland would be the first native american to serve in a cabinet post. the u.n. is urging eritrean troops to leave ethiopia's northern tigray region, where there have been reports of many atrocities by multiple parties in the ongoing conflict. this is u.n. humans rights
office spokesperson ravina shamdasani. by preliminary analysis of the information received indicates that serious violations of international law, possibly amounting to war cmes and crimes against humanity, may have been committed by multiple actors, including the ethiopia national defense forces, the tigray liberation front, eritrean armed forces, and regional forces and affiliated militia. deeply distressing reports of violence, traditional killings, widespread destruction and looting of public and private property by alparties continues to be shared. amy: the u.n. also warned of potentiallcatastroic hunge and said it is still lacking the necessary access to deliver aid . pope francis has landed in iraq for a much-anticipated three day visit where he hopes to rally the shrinking christian community. francis will meet with other religious leaders later today at
baghdad's our lady of salvation church, where a 2010 massacre by fighters affiliated with al-qaeda killed over 50 people. pope francis's trip is also expected to include stops at historic religious sites and northern kurdistan, where he will hold an outdoor mass for thousands in erbil. it is the first time a pope has visited iraq. in italy, dozens of humanitarian aid workers have been charged with complicity in human smuggling after saving thousands of refugees from drowning in the mediterranean as they attempted to reach european soil. the charges against over 20 humanitarian aid workers, with groups including doctors without borders and save the children, come after a four-year investigation by the italian government, which in recent years has increasingly criminalized both refugees and rescuers. the charges carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison each.
back in the united states, the transportation inspector general has found the former secretary elaine chao, the wife of senate now minority leader mitch mcconnell, repeatedly misused her office to help family members, including her father and sister, who run a global shipping business with large operations in china. the inspector general's report was referred to trump's justice department last december which the client open a criminal investigation. meanwhile, "the intercept" reports mitch mcconnell has prepared a short list of candidates to succeed him as kentucky senator in the event he does not serve out his full term. normally, the governor -- in this case democratic governor andy beshear -- would appoint a replacement, but republicans are pushing legislation in the kentucky general assembly that would strip him of that power. at the top of mcconnell's list is state attorney general daniel
cameron, who is facing calls for impeachment over his mishandling of breonna taylor's case. the young emt who was killed by police in a no knock raid of her home last march. texas' power grid operator ercot overcharged customers by $16 billion during last month's historic winter storm that caused power outages across the state according to a wchdog filing. the electric reliability council of texas, which sets the price of electricity, kept the emergency surge pricing in place for 33 hours longer than needed. in related news, president and ceo of ercot, bill magness, was fired wednesday amid the ongoing fallout. and in honduras, vice reports leaked documents have revealed the government of president juan orlando hernández paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to over 70 journalists as part of hernández's efforts to control the press.
the accusations are part of the latest corruption case against hernández's government. he is a key u.s. ay. this comes as a oup of mocratic conessmembe have reintruced theerta cáceres human rits in houras act, which would suspenmilitaryid to the centralmerin countr til the nduran gernmen vestigates aegationsf hun rightsiolationby their securityorces. e ll is med aftebeloved lea indigeus land d water defend berta áces, who w assainated omarch 3,016, a y befo her 45tbirthday 2017, "e guardi" report thextrajudial killg had en plann by miliry inteigence specialists lind tounte' u.s.-ainespecia forces. ácerewould ha turned this wk. in 201 democra now! spe to onof her dghterslaura zúniga cáceres, in madrid, spain. >> then we see how the united
states government continues to support governments in honduras, which are highly repressive and violators of human rights. the united states supports these governments, particularly in the area of militarization. at the time of my mother's murder, one of the things that caught our attention is that it was said that members of the fbi were investigating her killing, which u.s. embassy never clarified even though it was not ue and the u.s. embassy allowed the honduran state to create that false narrative. amy: to see our coverage of berta caceres' life and death and our 2019 interview with her daughter laura zúniga cáceres, at the u.n. climate summit in madrid, visit our website democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the senate voted thursday to open debate on president biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
the final vote was 51 to 50 with vice president kamala harris breaking the tie after every republican senator voted against advancing the legislation. democrats are hoping to pass the bill before march 14, when extended unemployment benefits run out. the legislation has widespread support from voters. one new poll shows 77% o americans support the bill, including nearly 60% of republicans. but senate republicans are attempting to slow the process to a crawl. thursday, wisconsin republican senator ron johnson forced senate clerks to read the entire text of the stimulus bill aloud -- more than 100,000 words filling 628 pages. the house has already approved a $1.9 trillion relief package, but the senate bill has some key differences. it reduces the number of people eligible for direct stimulus checks and does not include a provision to raise the federal
minimum wage to $15 an hour. the unelected senate parliamentarian recently ruled the wage increase cod not be included in a bill passed through what is known as the budget reconciliation process. however, the fight for $15 is not over. the senate will consider today an amendment by senator bernie sanders to raise the minimum wage federally from $7.25 to $15 an hour over a five year period. sanders spoke on the senate floor thursday. >> this is legislation that will increase wages for 30 million american workers. if you asked me what the great economic crisis in our countries today, it is not just high unemployment or income wealth inequality, it is that half of our people today and before the
pandemic were living paycheck-to-paycheck. their wages were so low, that if they had a problem with their kid got sick, suddenly, they were in financial crisis stop in the richest country of the history of the world, half of our people should not be facing economic desperation when their car breaks down. and the reason for that to significantly that many millions of workers are earning starvation wages. and i underlain that, starvation wages and it is country. i would love to hear anyone get up here and tell me that they could live on seven dollars $.25 an hour, eight dollars an hour, nine dollars an hour. you can't. amy: that is senator bernie sanders. to talk about the push to raise the federal minimum wage, we are joined by the rev. dr. william barber, co-chair of the poor people's campaign and president of repairers of the breach. he and reverend liz theoharis
just wrote a letter to vice president kamala harris published in the nation titled "vp harris, maybe you were elected for such a time as this." reverend barber, welcome back to democracy now! explain what you are demanding. cook's first of all, thank you so much, amy, for having me on this morning. i can't help but think right now about a passage of scripture isaiah 10, whoah under those who legislate people and rob the poor of their rights. when i went to west virginia a few weeks ago and met with four will people, -- for wealth people, they were clear, white, black, brown, when passing tax cuts, they said -- for the
wealthy, parliamentarians have never had the last word and that should not have it now. the parliamentarian nearly advises -- merely advises. they were demanding that democrats have to keep pushing. as bernie sanders said, not one of these senators could live off of what people are living off of now. they make hundreds of thousands of dollars. i really want to hear bernie sanders also say poverty wages. 140 million people were living in poverty even before this pandemic. senator schumer should have kept it in the bill. it should not have an and made
it. it should have been kept in the bill. forcing vice president harris corrected overrule the advice of the parliamentarian. the history here. the parliamentarian issue, parliamentarians advise and roll out of order every attempt to end slavery. they rolled out of order attempts to change the constitution, change and justice after the civil war. nobody should want to be connected to that legacy. if senator harris was to say no to the advice, which has been done before -- trent lott and fired parliamentarian. hubert humphrey, rockefeller. there is a history of this. and it would force back to the four, which would mean senators would have to have 60 votes to override the presiding officers. where we are now, if bernie puts
an amendment on the floor, if the democrats were to stick together, first of all, the amendment that pass and it would put it back where the parliamentarian would advise against it, then the vice president could say no to the advice and it within require 60 votes -- and they don't have 60 votes. they do not have the fortitude to vote against the bill, which is why they want it passed. they don't what to have to vote and let everybody see the vote against $15. they know their 62 million workers before this pandemic who were making less than $15 an hour. they know the poor and low wealth people were the first to be forced to go to work, the first to get infected, the first to get sick, and the first to die. and they know that 55% of poor and low wealth people voted for the biden-harris ticket.
they also note lastly that this issue of $15 an hour, the march on washington, amy, agenda, was two dollars an hour and the civil rights act. two dollars an hour. would be $15 today. 70% of the public wants this. and i think democrats are really playing with fire here if they don't get manchin and check for schumer pulses out and the vice president doesn't overrule because you're talking about 62 million people. you're talking about 65 million poor and low weah voters and you'realking about in the midst of the pandemic. it is shameful. there are three things we have not done most number one, we have not guaranteed unemployment and sickly. number two, we have not expanded
health care. number three, we have not decided to pay essential workers a living wage in the time in which 8 million more people have got into poverty. only 39% of this country can afford $1000 emergency. seven dollars 25 cents is barely $15,000 a year. tip workers make $2.13 an hour. 16 million tip workers and 60% of them could not even qualify for the unemployment offered during this pandemic. this iswhoa under those who legislate people and rob the poor of their rights and this robbery needs to stop it we need to do what is right. amy: what is fascinating, of a group of people, 100 people, course there is kamala harris, and the majority of them are millionaires saying $15 an hour is too much. you make a critical point about
manchin and sinema who said they would not vote for the $15 increase, which is over a number of years. manchin said maybe he would tolerate $11. you site if push came to shove, giving its vast popularity among the american public, including lukens, they would not go against this bill. >> i don't believe it. in west virginia, 50% of the people work for less than a living wage. i have been to west virginia. i've seen the fervor in the people. i have never seen the unity between black people from the streets of charlotte and the white people from the hollers. we we met with manchin, we had persons from his own county. one lady said, i knew your mama. this is not what robert byrd was about. this has been strong. in arizona, almost a million
people who make less than a living wage. they don't to have to vote. they what to be able to say the parliamentarian did not allow it but the parliamentarian advises. the reason i'm saying this we have said to vice president harris is really a love statement. you have a chance to make this out economic sale. you have a chance to stand or parks stood, fannie lou hamer stood, others who stood. you have a chance to say that only by the first black woman in the position but i am going to take a position and i am not going to allow a parliamentarian -- one person -- two block 62 money people who are poor and low wealth. i'm not going to allow one person to hurt 25 million people
who are facing hunger right now. i am not going to block -- let one person block billions of dollars in pumped into the economy because if they did it immediately, it would pump $330 billion plus into the economy. she could say, i'm not going to allow the 74 billion women who are poor and low wealth under this country to continue to be hurt. i'm going to force you to have to vote on this. and, not be able to vote, but as a vice president, i'm not going to allow the parliamentarian to be more powerful than me. i will overrule them. amy: could you talk about the legacy of the parliamentarian? you talked about going back to slavery. >> yeah. that is the other reason no one should want to be lined up with this issue because, amy, none of this stuff is constitutional. nobody swore to uphold the parliamentarian. they swore to uphold the
constitution, which declares the first thing you must do if you're going to heal and have domestic tranquility, you must establish justice. there is no justice when we still have people who make seven dollars 25 cents an hour. there is no justice when in america today we have declared outdated poverty, that if a person makes $12 an hour, they are not poor. that is absurd. there is no justification allowing the parliamentarian, as i said, if you go back in history, every time the issue of slavery taint of parliamentarians advised against it, saying it could not be brought to the floor. prior to slavery. and there were attempts to do it after the civil war and the whole parliamentarian filibuster issue was used constantly by white supremacists in the
congress during the civil rights movement and prior to the civil rights movement. this is an ugly history. and there was history of it the -- hubert humphrey did, nelson rockefeller did it. trent lott defied the parliamentarian. there is no way -- president biden shouldac loose the vice president. i have great respect. we are thankful for much of what is in the bill, but there is no way he should have said to ask ago "i'm going to abide by the parliamentarian." the parliamentarian did not elect him. the parliamentarian is [indiscernible] has a deep and ugly history. overrule the parliamentarian and make the senators vote. amy: alexandria ocasio-cortez tweeted -- i mean, the stats are
staggering. you write, "raising the minimum wage would lift 40% of african-american workers and 62 million poor and low income americans of every race." >> first of all, again, we need to stop using this language about conservative. there's nothing conservative when you establish justice. to conserve needs to hold on to something. so they are not conservative. they're not liberal. they're not moderates. they are not centrists. what is this interest? you only want to make sure half the people get justice? what we are seeing is a robbing of the rights of the poor.
what we're seeing is a clear violation i believe of the fundamental support of the constitution and that is what we need to call it. it is extreme, catering to the corporate block in this country. it is a refusal to treat people right. it is literally stopping on the hopes and dreams of the very people, poor and low wealth people who are the main ones to have kept this economy alive in the mist of a pandemic. there was no parliamentarian issue when we get $6 million for the corporations. no issues when 84% of the first covid go into the banks and corporations. no issue brought up when we get $1.2 trillion corporations i did not even go through congress. how tragic it would be to pass a bill that is less than what republicans did, less than what mcconnell did.
if democrats are not careful, republicans are going to outflank them. trump and others are so cynical. they would kind back eventually -- if we don't do this -- and the proposed a higher minimum wage. and up outflanking democrats because there is a kind of populism -- a history and it is country that is economic populism but also socially repressive. this makes no sense at all. make the senators vote. so when bernie sanders puts this motion on the table, democrats and stick together, go back to the vice president, overrule the advice -- i call it the advice -- of the parliamentarian come and force in a 60 vote margin. they have to have 60 votes to overrule the vice president. let america see. if they had the fortitude to vote against their own people, let us see that. we will be clear about what we need to do in the next election.
but i don't believe they have. they just want to ask -- they want to not pass the vote and they are afraid to have to vote. because dr. reverend william barber, thank you for taking this time. you are on the road. cochair of the poor people's campaign and president of repairers of the breach. we will link to the letter you and reverend liz will harris wrote to kamala harris published in "the nation, titled "vp harris, maybe you were elected for such a time as this." next up, hr1. at a time when republicans are pushing more than two hud 50 state laws to restrict voting access. we will speak with new york congressmember mondaire jones. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
she would have been 79. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the house of representatives has proved the most sweeping voting rights legislation in decades. the for the people act, also known as house resolution 1, passed wednesday by a vote of a 220 to 210 with every republican opposi the bil the legiation isim at improvg voter restrationnd acce to voti, ending paisan andacial gerranderingforcing e dilosure of dark mey donor ineasing plic fundg for ndidatesand imsing strt ethicaand rerting stdards on congress members and members of the u.s. supreme court. the bill now heads to the senate where it is expected to be killed by republicans and less all 50 senate democrats unite to end the filibuster. the house measure comes as voting rights are under attack in courthouses and statehouses across the country. republican state lawmakers have introduced over 250 bills in 43 states to limit voter access.
meanwhile, the supreme court appears poised to uphold controversial voting limits in arizona in a case that further cuts the voting rights act. during oral arguments on tuesday, attorney michael carvin, who represents the arizona republican party, admitted that increasing voter turnout "puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to democrats. politics is a zero sum game." carvin's comment echoes a famous quote by the late conservative activist paul weyrich, cofounder of the heritage foundation. in 1980, he said -- "i don't want everybody to vote. elections are not won by a majority of people. our leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populace goes down." we are joined now by newly elected democratic congressmember mondaire jos of new york. great to have you with us, congressman johns. can you talk about the significance of what you just passed in the house and what you want to see happen in the senate? >> i'm so grateful to be here
with you and your viewers. what we passed in the form of h.r.1 is a foundational importance. it is literally required to save our demracy from the ongoing flagrant assault on our democracy by the republican party. the modern-day republican party cannotompete on the merits of his policy ideas. rather, it is seeking to disenfranchise large swaths of the american electorate, especially black and hispanic people in southern states. so we have to take action as the unit states congress. it is why house democrats passed what you accurately described as the most important voting rights felt since the voting rights act of 1965. it is a very large bill. it contains a lot of great things. what i tended to focus on our automatic put a rush -- automatic voter registration.
independent redistricting as replacements for the partisan gerrymandering for congressional districts that has allowed people like marjorie taylor greene to coast to victory in general election contests and play because they have prevailed in republican primaries. of course, public campaign financing so that people come working-class backgrounds who tend to be more diverse and are certainly more representative of the median american voter are le to and congressional campaigns. by the way, when that happens, you won't have crazy people completely detached from reality because of their of seen wealth debating the need for 2000 dollars survival checks in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the great depression. amy:ou passed it in the house, a ghost now to the senate where it is expected to die because of the filibuster.
can you talk about the use of the filibuster and what you want to see happen? >> i don't expected to die. my colleagues don't expected to die, either. we are reaching a pot where as the united states congress, in particular in the house, continues to pass common sense legislation that has bipartisan support, by the way. you look at stuff like the equality act. overwhelmingly, democrats and republicans don't feel like members of the lgbtq community should be scriminated against in house and employment and credit and so on and so forth. we passed the george floyd justice and policing act. that will be sitting at the door of the united states senate, and you have all of the senators a also the president and vice president of the united states who were elected on the backs of black people and brown people and you're not going to do anything? i think it will be untenable for people like joe manchin and
kyrsten sinema to continue to adhere to outdated norms. by the way, the filibuster is a relic of jim crow. i wrote yesterday that just as the filibuster was used to block a major civil rights legislation a geration ago, it is -- it's hearings will now be using it effectively to block the ali act, which i think would be personal to kyrsten sinema, and the for the people act. i happen to think if we keep the pressure on if the house -- if house democrats continue to do their jobs come that folks in the united states senate will be forced to do the right thing by the american people come to do what they were elected to do. imagine getng to the senate and not legislating. what is the point of running? amy: are you for endinthe filibuster? >> i'm a leading proponent for
repealing t filibuster. amy: i want to ask about we just mentioned, the george floyd justice and policing act, which the house also just past. a bill named after the african-american man who was killed last year by a white minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. by the way, he goes on trial, officer showman, on monday. the legislation would ban police chokeholds and eliminate qualified immunity for officers. it also seeks to ban racial and religious profiling and certain no-knock raids and would set up a national database to track police misconduct. talk about the significance of this. >> it is difficult to overstate the significance of the black lives matter movement, which has led to legislation like the george floyd justice and policing act. by the way, this is just the beginning.
this is not going to solve the issue of systemic racism. i am happy to talk about that as well. but as it concerns this piece of legislation, it was the culmination of those protests we w last summer that i participated in that in some places are still going on -- it was described by historians as the most significant civil rights movement since the last civil-rights movement. that is for good reason. for a lot of people, it was clarified for them, particularly white americans, that systemic racism, that racism in policing is pervasive. i have made the argument that it is extending to all parts of our society. your ability to get medical care
, homuch money have a new york pocket after you deprived black families. as care it concerns this particr bill, it has a lot of support and it is something come again, if you want to speak to the constituencies that are geing mocrats elected and you have any desire whatsoever to retain the majority in 2022, give people a reason to vote for you. also, deliver justice. for whom justice has been long-delayed. amy: covers number mondaire jones, you recently wrote a piece in "the new york daily news," biden must cancel student debt without congress was not can you explain this? also talk about your own experience being saddled with student debt. >> we have student debt unlike
we have ever seen. it is something that must be addressed by congress. wages have been stagnant for decades, literally decades when you adjust for inflation. even as the cost of a four-year college degree as sword. we saw in the early 1990's the average debt for someone graduang at a four-year institution at about $9,000. now it is closer to $37,000 and some change. as wages have been stagnant during that same period, of course we're just now fighting once again to raise the minimum wage, which has not changed from $7.25 since 2009, but even before then, wages have been stagnant. we have to do this to liberate an entire generation of young people to meaningfully -- in my county, thousands of people my age and below are living at home with their parents because they cannot afford to be independent and own a home or pay rent.
that is because of crippling student debt mashed with wage stagnation. the president of the united states can exercise his authority under the higher education act and forget that that. unfortunately, as of now, as declined to do so some have to make sure we press this issue. there is an issue of gender justice and economic justice and racial justice and lg who -- lgbtq plus justice. amy: going to follow-up with the conversation we had with marc lamont hill and mitche plitnick who wrote a book called "except for palestine: the limits of progressive politics." we were talking about vaccines and israel, one of the largest recipients of u.s. aid. the fact the health minister of israel said israel is about is responsible for making sure palestinians have vaccines -- israel is number one in vaccinating its own population -- as the palestinian health
ministry is responsible for dolphins in the mediterranean. can you comment on this? >> i am not familiar with those statements, but i will say i believe the palestinians should be vaccinated. there's no question about that. i don't take any can argue otherwise. amy: and that israel is responsible for what is happening in the occupied territories? >> what i have said is we need a two state solution in the region and also that under the law, palestinians and israelis should be treated equally. amy: are you saying israel ould make sure that palestinians have the vaccine? >> yes. amy: mondaire jones, thank you for
me with us, democratic congress member for new york's 17th congressional district. next up, the house passes the george floyd justice and policing act. we will speak to the longtime organizer mariame kaba. author of the new "new york
democracynow.org. this week the house passed the police reform measure known as the george floyd justice in policing act, sending it to the senate just as former police officer derek chauvin is set to go on trial monday in minneapolis for his role in the police killing of george floyd. but outrage over police killings and harassment and the mass incarceration of black and brown people and immigrants has also generated calls to go beyond reform, to defund and abolish the police. this is the focus of our next guest mariame kaba's new book titled "we do this 'til we free us: abolitionist organizing and transforming justice." it has just hit number nine on "the new york times" best other list. mariame kaba collected essays, interviews, and other writings that she and numerous collaborators wrote between 2014 -- the year of the uprisings over the police killing of
michael brown in ferguson, -- and today. this week the book made "the new york times" best other list. it has been called a pragmatic playbook, and it also comes with a discussion guide. mariame kaba is a longtime organizer, abolitionist, educator and the founder of the grassroots organization project nia, which works to end the incarceration of children and young adults. welcome back to democracy now! congratulations on the look in on hitting the bestseller list out of the gate. clearly you have hit a chord. "we do this till they free as." >> thank you for having me again. i think really the reason why the book has been resonating is because the uprisings in the struggle in the streets. the fact summit people around the country recognize the
complete and utter failures and limits of so-called reform do people want, which is to have some modicum of justice. i think people are impatient with incrementalism and are impatient with solutions that don't actually address the root causes of violence. a part of that is the fact that policing is inherently violent and that the starting point has to be actually reduced people's contact with the police altogether. i always tell people, if you care about the violence of policing, then you should want as little policing as possible in any form. the book speaks and part two that was some writings that i have made over the years with myself and others, with some talks and speeches. it helps people understand what
we mean when we talk about defunding policing and what we mean by abolishing the prison industrial complex. amy: explain what you mean. also what is really important about your work is the grassroots nature of it. if you can talk about the grassroots actions that are taking place around the country right now along the issue of challenging police brutality. >> yes. thank you so much. i will say this, i always tell people when we talk about prison industrial complex abolition, it is a dual project. we are talking on the one hand about a project that is about dismantling death making institutions like policing and prisons of surveillance and creating life-affirming ones, putting resources and investing in the things we know to keep people sick -- housing, health care, schooling. living wages.
-- things we know to keep people safe -- housing, health care, schooling, living wages. in terms of the people on the ground, i do want to point out given that she had a conversation earlier with congress van jones about the george floyd justice act. i think if you talk to people who have been on the streets all last year, basically, half the year and continue to be struggling now in their communities, they would tell you that bill, which is just a set of procedural reforms, is woefully, woefully insufficient. i also keep thinking about the cruel irony of naming a bill after -- a police reform supposedly bill of someone who was killed by the police and then include a whole set of so-called procedural reforms that would not have prevented that person's death. this particular offering that
they're making supposedly in congress would not have kept george floyd alive. i think that is just cruel irony. i really recommend that people take a look at a great calm yesterday written about this very issue. in terms of the grassroots organizers, since george floyd's killing have worked to secure the of nearly a billion dollars from police departments around the country. their secured investments at least almost $200 million in communities toward the things i mentioned are life-affirming and life-givingy institutions. they have done things like over 25 cities canceled contracts with local police departments who are operating in schools, which also has saved an additional almost $40 million to
be invested in student, family, community support and restorative justice. people are not sitting back and doing nothing. this last week a new website launched called defundpolice .org. find a map of the different places around the country that are organizing still because the demand is still too abolish. i think people should pay attention to that and see that. amy: mariame kaba, thank you for being with us, longtime organizer and abolitionist. the new book "we do this 'til we free us: abolitionist organizing and transforming justice," a -- in 10 seconds, why you chose the title. >> that is a chant that has been ringing out under the ever since 2014 in ferguson and in new york