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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 18, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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03/18/21 03/18/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> obviously, whatever the motivation this guy, we know the majority of the victims were asian. we also know this is an issue that is happening across the country. it is unacceptable. it is hateful. and it has two stop.
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amy: atlanta and the asian-american community are in mourning after a white gunman attacked three spas in the atlanta area, killing eight people, six of them asian deent. this comes amid a sharp rise in hate crimes targeting asian-americans over the past year. then we go to burma where the military junta is intensifying its crackdown but protests against the coup continue. >> military announced martial law, which means they have declared war and gave them authority to access people's property or do whatever they want. the barricades are the only type of security. amy: a new nuclear arms race? we look at how the united states and the united kingdom are moving to expand their nuclear weapons arsenals in defiance of the international community. >> at a time when nuclear weapon
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risks are higher than they have been since the cold war, investments in disarmament and arms control is the best way to strengthen the stability and reduce nuclear danger. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the suspected gunman in tuesday's attacks on three atlanta-area spas has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. seven of the victims were women, six of them of asian descent. the suspect is a white man. in a press conference wednesday, cherokee county sheriff's department spokesperson captain jay baker said 21-year-old robert aaron long's killing spree was not racially motivated and instead stemmed from his sex addiction. >> and he was pretty much at the
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end of his rope. it was a really bad day for him and this is what he did. amy: california democratic congressmember ted lieu tweeted in response --an "all of us have experienced bad days. but we don't go to three asian businesses and shoot up asian employees." congressmember lieu says he does not have confidence in the cherokee county sheriff's department and called on the fbi to conduct its own independent investigation. this comes as buzzfeed news reports captain baker posted racist, anti-chinese images and comments on social media in 2020. since tuesday's attack, memorials for the victims have been held nationwide. after headlines, we will have the latest on the georgia attacks and rising hate crimes against asian-americans with dr. connie wun, co-founder of the organization aapi women lead. the house voted wednesday to reauthorize the violencegainst womeact afteit expir
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duri trump's presency. only 29 publicanjoined mocrats voting r the ll. it noweads to the evly divid senate thworld heth organation is remmendi the connued use of astrazeneca's covid-19 vaccine after multiple nations suspended inoculations over concerns about blood clots in patients who received the vaccine. this is who epidemiologist dr. maria van kerkhove. >> the use of the vaccine file raise -- far out weighs the risk. amy: brazil's healthcare system is on the brink of collapse as covid-19 cases and deaths surge to new highs. on wednesday, brazil reported more than 90,000 new infections for the first time since the start of the pandemic. a reported 5500 brazilians died of covid-19 in the last two days alone. brazil's far-right president jair bolsonaro, who opposes
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lockdowns and has mocked covid-19 as a "little flu," recently appointed his fourth health minister since the start of the pandemic. the united nations reports the pandemic may have caused an additional 239,000 deaths of children and mothers across south asia. the u.n. cites rising poverty during the pandemic, as well as interruptions to medical care, immunizations, and treatments fomalnutrition. the tanzanian president john magufuli has died at 61. tanzania's vice president said the cause of death was heart failure. magufuli had not been seen publicly since late february, fueling speculation that he died of covid-19. magufuli was a covid-19 denier who mocked face masks and refused to order public health measures. he raised doubts over vaccines, and promoted prayer and herbal remedies for covid-19 patients. tanzania hasn't reported data on its outbreak since april of 2020
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but doctors in dar es salaam report a surge of patients with respiratory problems may be a sign of a hidden epidemic. president biden says the u.s. might not honor its agreement with the taliban to withdraw u.s. troops from afghanistan by may 1. speaking to abc news, biden called the u.s. agreement with the taliban negotiated last year "not a very solidly negotiated deal." about 3500 u.s. troops remain in afghanistan nearly 20 years after the u.s.-led invasion. russia has recalled its ambassador to the united states after president biden said russian president vladimir putin would pay the price for allegedly meddling in the 2020 election. biden spoke to abc news george stephanopoulos. >> you know vladimir putin. pres. biden: i do. >> what price must he pay? pres. biden: you will see shortly.
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amy: russia's foreign ministry said it was looking to prevent a "irreversible deterioration in relations" over president biden's remarks. senate democrats have introduced sweeping voting rights legislation passed by the house of registration earlier this month -- legislation passed by the house of representatives earlier this month. the "for the people act" aims to improve voter registration and access to polls, ends partisan and racial gerrymandering, forces the disclosure of dark money donors, increases public funding for candidates, and imposes strict ethical and reporting standards on members of congress and the u.s. supreme court. republicans have signaled they may use the filibuster to defeat the bill. in his first speech from the senate floor, georgia democrat raphael warnock called -- condemned republican voter-suppression legislation "jim crow in new clothes." >>en says the january election, some 250 voter suppression bills have been introduced by state legislatures all across the country from georgia to arizona, from new hampshire to florida. using the big lie of voter fraud
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as a pretext for voter suppression. the same date lie that led to a violent insurrection on this very capitol. amy: democratic congressmembers pramila jayapal and debbie dingell introduced the medicare for all act of 2021 wednesday, one year after the first covid-19 cases were confirmed in all 50 states and the district of columbia. this is congressmember jayapal. >> and know this devastang pandemic has shown a bright light on a broken for-profit health care system, we also know that we were already leaving nearly half of all adults under the age of 65 uninsured or underinsured before covid-19 hit. and that was happening while we paid double more per capita for health care than any other country in the world.
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amy: the irs is extending the tax-filing deadline to may 17 as it deals with a massive backlog of tax returns. even before the pandemic, the irs faced a decade of budget cuts that left it woefully understaffed. propublica reports that, in recent years, audits of the rich and the largest corporations have plummeted while audits of poor taxyers have remained comparatively high. senator bernie sanders has introduced the tax excessive ceo pay act, which would increase taxes on large companies that pay ceo's over 50 times more than the median pay of its workers. the bill also strengthens government oversight of corporate tax avoidance. on wednesday, sanders, who chairs the senate budget committee, held a hearing on the inequality crisis. sanders called on amazon founder and ceo jeff bezos, one of the world's two richest men, to appear before the committee but bezos declined. amazon worker jennifer bates, who is helping organize what could become the company's first union in bessemer, alabama, was at the hearing and testified.
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>> we have to keep up with the pace. it feels like an intense workout every day. they track our every move. i learned that if i worked -- if i had too much time off task, i could be disciplined or even fired. amy: you can see our interview withennifer bates about the unionizing effort in bessemer at in britain, in a major win for labor rights, uber will reclassify all 70,000 of its drivers as workers, entitling them to minimum wage, holiday pay, and other benefits. the u.k. is the first country where uber will adopt this business model after a landmark supremcourt ruling last month in a lawsuit brought by a handful of drivers. in britain, police will start recording crimes motivated by a person's sex or gender as a hate crime. the move is not yet permanent and comes amid mounting tensions
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over a new bill pushed by conservatives that would increase police powers and crack down on peaceful protesters. on saturday, police violently broke up a vig for sarah everard, a 33-year-old woman who was murdered earlier this month, likely by a police officer. on monday, prime minister boris johnson announced plans for plain-clothes police officers to patrol bars and nightclubs in an effort to prevent sexual violence -- a move that was swiftly condemned by rights groups and women across britain. a japanese court ruled for the first time wednesday the country's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. the ruling is a major victory for lgbtq rights in japan though campaigners still face an uphill battle to legalize same-sex marriage. this ione of t plaintiffs the case. she chose to keep her identity secret. >> only because the gender of the person wlove is difrent, we can't get married. we live the same lives as
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heterosexuals, have the same troubles and joys. though our lives are exactly the same, the nation would not recognize this. this is clear discrimination from our point of view. amy: federal agents have arrested a heavily armed man outside the official residence of ice is in a camel harris. -- residents of vice president kamala harris. he had a rifle and massive amounts of ammunition in his vehicle. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm y goodman in new york joined remotely by my co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: the suspected gunman in three attacks on atlanta-area spas tuesday has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault. seven of the eight victims were
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women, six of them were asian. the suspect is a 21-yearld white man. four of the victims' names have been released -- delaina ashley yaun, paul andre michels, xiaojie yan, and daoyou feng. the attacks began around 5:00 p.m. tuesday when five people were shot at youngs asian massage parlor in a strip mall north of atlanta. in news conference wednesday, captain jay baker of the cherokee county sheriff's department spoke to reporters about the suspect robert aaron long. >> he claims -- as the chief said, it is still early but he claims it was not racially motivated. he apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places and it is a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate. >> do you get the gravity of?
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>> when i spoke to investigators , they got that impression that, yes, he understood the gravity of it. he was pretty much fed up and at the end of his rope. yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did. amy: open yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did" said captain baker. his comments and the decision by law enforcement authorities to focus on the long's narrative drew widespread criticism. after reviewing captain baker's social media accounts, buzzfeed news reported on an april 2020 facebook post in which baker shared an image of t-shirts with logos that look like the corona beer label and the racist slogan -- "covid 19 imported virus from chy-na." captain baker wrote on the post -- "love my shirt. get yours while they last." california democratic congressmember ted lieu tweeted -- "if the facebook post is
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accurate, and based on today's press conference, i would not have confidence in the cherokee county sheriff's office to conduct a fair investigation that respected the asian victims. i urge the fbi to conduct its own independent investigation." this comes as a report published tuesday by the organization stop aapi hate documented nearly 3800 reported hate incidents that targeted asian americans in the past year and showed women reported attacks at more than twice the rate of men. since tuesday's attack, memorials for the victims have been held nationwide and at some of the atlanta-area spas where they were killed. this is atlanta resident fred morris, who works at nearby spa. -- who works near one of the spas. >> it is saddening. this whole past year and a half, with everything happening in this country, black lives matter
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to all the stuff happening to asian people, it is very sad. it sucks. the gentleman said it was not because of a racial issue, but because of a sex addiction -- we all know that is not true because of the rhetoric that has been put throughout this country with people thinking that china virus and things like that. attacks on asian people all across the country is wrong and it needs to be stopped. it really does. amy: for more, we are joined by dr. connie wun, co-founder of the aapi women lead organization and a researcher on violence against girls of color. she's joining us from oakland, california. her piece for "elle" earlier this month is headlined "ignoring the history of anti-asian racism is another form of violence." welcome to democracy now!
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the words of captain baker seem to have framed the discussion, the view of what took place as the narrative of the alleged shooter that this is not a hate crime. can you talk about your response to what took place and how it has now been framed by the police? >> good morning. thank you for having me on your show. there are couple of things. here in the united dates in particular, we can't is connect race from sexism orace from racial violenc from gender violence. that is first and foremost in addressing the police officer's narrative around what took place. thi there's long-standing history around the hyper sexualization, the ongoing sexual violence against asian women. this has happened across the globe. this occurs during racialized
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colonial wars in vietnam, cambodia, the philippines, korea. our country has had a long history of sexual violence against asian women. so for the police officer and the national nrativeo act as if this is not something based upon race is a little bit of a problem, centering his narrative instead of the survivor's or the victim's narrative is also part of the huge racial violence that this country is essentially guilty of. nermeen: dr. wun, could you say more about the media coverage of this? you tweeted "i don't want to hear any symbolic gestures. i do not want you calling for more police state surveillance in the name of the most vulnerable." >> right.
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i think for the past year and in the past couple of months, there has been a lot of media focus upon particur individual acts of violence against our community. it has been helpful to the extent it has lifted up or amplified the violence against our community. the wawe have framed the violence has failed to address the systemic violence against our community. we have not implicated white supremacy enough, xenophobia enough, not implicated gendere violence enough. we have not even come close to addressing the conflictsround anti-blackness within the community enough. what the narratives have done is individualized these acts of violence and what we need to also have a systemic analysis of
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what is happening. the other thing around that is when we interval ice thesects of -- individualiz these act of violence, especially the way mainstream media has covered it, what we have done is we have -- some have called for increased hate crime legislation, or policing, more surveillance. what they have failed to acknowledge when they have done that is asian communities are also survivors of racial profiling , survivov of the criminal justice systemiet. 33 -- a form of anti-asian violence. the media has not covered enough of the long-standing history against the asian community. what they have done is they have narrowed in a particular incidences, which is important but they have not named other forms of violence and they
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called in -- call from a policing surveillance and community organizers have asked for the complete opposite. nermeen: dr. wun, can you talk more about the exponential rise of crimes against hate -- hate violence against asian americans ? arly 3800 eight incidents in the past year? what you think accounts for this and how does that compare to previous years? >> that is been painful, i have to be honest. the recent hate reports, the anti-asian violence that has been exacerbated in the past year haseen hard for our communities, really hard on all of our lives. i think there are a couple of things. what is they have to expand -- a couple of thgs. let me say one is these hate
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incidences are also underreported. surviving anti-aan violee has been a large part of most of our lives. most of the time weave not reported the violence that we have experienced. number one because our community doesn't trust justice system. never different relationship to mainstre. the other thing is the surge we see today for now is a lot to do with the coverage, which means see more owhat is happening but at the same time, we can't separate this moment from trump's of administration. we can't separate it from the fact this global pandemic that has killed so many people and has heard so many lives was blamed on what was called the china virus,as calle the wuhan virus, or, you know, the
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georgia sheriff said was that's what it he call? the -- it came from china? it made sense -- well, it doesn't make sense, but i think we can implicate and say that this rise in violence today is because we are being scapegoated largely by the previous administration. amy: i want to read from a statement from a physician and georgia state senator, the first asian-american georgia state senator. dr. au wrote -- "our aapi community has been living in fear this past year in the shadow of escalating racial discrimination and attacks. this latest series of murders only heightens that terror. i implore all georgians, and all americans, to reach out to your asian-american neighbors and to pledge to stand with them in solidarity." she gave a speech on the floor
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of the legislature right before the attack with this heightened, this escalating violence against asian americans. i was wondering, dr. wun, if you can go further and talk about please/parlors? -- talk about these massage parlors? we don't know that some of the victims were sex workers, but you are writing -- you just finished a chapter on the dangers that sex workers of color, including massage parlor workers. talk about this in the context of what we see happening now. >> sure. i think what we have to recognize around the women in the men who werrecently kled is that many of them were working in low-wage jobs, right?
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which means they were exploited, under resourced. i learned some of the women killed were living in that spa, that massage parlor that means there were living in conditions of, you know, poverty. i want us to really highlight that. i also want to talk about the ways that massage parlor workers, low-wage workers, sex workers -- we tend to come from -- i mean, this industry, massage parlors and sex workers, the sex trade is a criminalized and stigmatized industry which means that we are subject to criminalization, subject to police violence. many of the massage parlors across the country have been subject to police raids.
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a few years ago in new york, there was a woman who was killed or died. she was asian, chinese woman who was running and escaping from the police. we learned later she also shared she had been a survivor of someone who had a badge. they had coerced her to be an informant and she was running away from one of the raids. so massage parlors and other informal industries, including the sex trade, are -- we are survivors of the criminal justice system. which is why would mainstream media or politicians or others call for more policing and surveillance to the violence, massage parlor workers face, including these women who were killed, they're calling for more violence against our communities. and that is not thenswer, either. right? i think what is painful, this moment, is that while
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asians in particular are being subject to so much interpersonal violence, including death, we also cannot rely on a criminal justice system that has also caused death. that puts us in a very strange place and a very painful place. so we are relying on community organizers -- have long been relying on community organizers. our community -- where working for accountability in solidarity withx black mmunities, latin community's, indigenous communities, all working together to end the violence against asians and our other communities of color because we know we are survirs fm multipleorms of vience. nermeen: you talked earlier about the complicity of the trump administration course in the escalation of violence against asians in the u.s. your response to president biden last week in his first primetime
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address to the nation denouncing what he called vicious hate crimes against asian americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated. do you think that response was adequate? we surprised that he spoke about it -- were you surprised that he spoke about it in last week's address? >> i not surprised because there has been pressure and there's been a lot of violence while i appreciate the attention to specific the dust this positivity, it is important to separate the need to call everything a hate crime. because for our communities, we know that violence is happening against dust. hate crime legislation does not -- designating something as a hate crime is not necessarily validating the violence against us. what i'm trying to say is while
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i appreciate the attention to anti-asian violence, it is not only hate crimes that is happeninto us. that is one thing. the other thing is designating something as a hate crime individualizes a systemic issue. we are already having a hard time trying to prove that everything is a hate crime and people saying it is not. so for many community organizers are going to say, look, we know the violence is happening against us. we need the resources to take care of our communities, to work in solidarity with one another. that is important for us. the otr thing, while by nasa's individu at a violence -- like i said earlier, he also reported 33 vietnamese immigrants whhad not been back to vietnam since they were children. so many community organizers, that is an act of anti-asian violence. the fact somebody of us are still in ice detention, facing
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more detention, i think that is also anti-asian violence. in biden and the administration needs to account for that as well. amy:r. connie wun, thank you for being with us, cofounder of aapi women lead organization and a researcher on violence against girls of color. we will link you are peace in "elle" "ignoring the history of anti-asian racism is another form of violence." we come back, we go to burma where the military junta is intensifying its crackdown. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break] ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. martial law has been declared in more parts of burma as the military junta intensifies its crackdown following the february 1 coup. according to one burmese group,
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at least 217 protesters have been killed and over 2000 have been arrested or detained since the coup began. on sunday, at least 38 people were killed in the deadliest day of political violence so far. but protests are continuing across the country. >> the military announced martial law, which means they have declared war and it gave them authority to access people's property or do whatever they want. building barricades, protect us. it is the only type of security we can do. amy: the military is also cracking down on communications. much of burma is under an internet blackout and independent newspapers have stopped publishing. last week, all 15 nations of the u.n. security council issued a joint statement condemning the "the violence against peaceful protestors, including against women, youth and children." china and russia backed the u.n. statement. the office of the united nations high commissioner for human rights
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has accused the military of torturing prisoners. >> at least five deaths in custody have occurred in recent weeks and at least two victims bodies have shown signs of severe physical abuse, indicating they were tortured. we are deeply disturbed that the crackdown continues to intensify and aga call on the military to stop killing and detaining protesters. amy: despite the international criticism, the burmese military is intensifying its grip on power. earlier today, additional charges were filed against ousted civilian leader aung san suu kyi. meanwhile, burma's u.n. ambassador kyaw moe tun has been charged with treason following his remarks last month at the u.n. condemning the coup. we go now to geneva, switzerland, where we are joined by wai hnin. she is a burmese human rights activist with burma campaign u.k. she is the daughter of longtime armies dissident who is a former student leader and political prisoner
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who has been detained since the start of the coup. we welcome you to democracy now! explain what is happening on the ground, the massive assault on protesters and also what is happening with your father, a well-known now political prisoner. >> thank you so much for having me on your program. it has been 46 days since the coup took over my country burma. every day people are protesting on the streets at every day they are being killed by police and special forces. now we have over 2000 political prisoners and some we have no idea where they are being detained. some of them simply disappeared because they have no contact with family members and family members have not been told their condition or their whereabouts. protesters keep coming out on the street
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calling for democracy and human rights because we don't want to live under another military dictatorship. they are risking arrest another will be shot when they go out on the streets, but they are still doing that. all the military is using increased violence against the peaceful protesters and all of the footage we have seen from the ground is really heartbreaking. regarding my dad, he was arrested on the first day of the coup on february 1. since then, we have no idea where he is being detained or his whereabouts. we are very worried about his condition, as well -- and also it is very hard -- this is his third arrest, so it is very hard to see him being back in prison again. nermeen: wai hnin, as you said, although it is difficult to know the conditions of political prisoners,
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there haveeen reports of human rights groups that officials from aung san suu kyi's party have been badly tortured in prison and two have died in custody. could you talk about that? >> yes. so they are arresting members and supporters of the national league for democracy. so we have a lot of reports coming out from the country signed if theyan't find the person that they want to arrest, they are arresting family members. sometimes i can be elderly moms or that can be daughters of the person that they want. so even if activists or supporters go into hiding, they are risking their family members lives because the military is arresting anyone they can find. there are two types of arrests going on.
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there are targeting individuals like activists and journalists and at the same time they are doing mass arrests, especially during the night. there is no internet from 9:00 to early in the morning. so during the night, they're doing nightly raids and arresting peaceful protesters if they could find and any activists they could find. there are two types of arrests, one targeted and one mass arrests. it has been 45 days and we now have more than 2200 people in prison. nermeen: could you also respond to the joint statement that was issued by the u.n. security council last week? all 50 members supported the atement but critics have said the statement should have been much stronger and china was amonthe counies that opposed that stronger language, including calling what is happening a coup,
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and possibly blocking punitive sanctions against the military government. your response to the statement? >> i would say people inside the country are risking their lives, going out and protesting and -- all the signs are written in english because they want the international community to help. when we see statements from the youth security council and other international communities, it had been an encouragement. it over a month, all of these statements -- not encouragement. we are calling for the international community to help because we know that they can and we're calling them to do targeted sanctions on military companies and global embargoes. of course china and russia has always been the problem, the argument is, oh, china --
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the reality is china is using its veto power in the u.n. security council because in return, they're getting cheap access to the resources we have in my country. they are doing it for their own pockets. a country like the u.s. and u.k., you have the power to lead other nations to follow targeted economic sanctions on military companies. that is what we are calling for international community help, because we know you can help. amy: russia did back the u.n. russia condemning the violence. is that right? >> yes, but of coursthey know the statement has no sway over the military. as they keep issuing statement after statement, we condemn this violence, we condemn this arrest -- amy: i want to ask about that violence and i want to warn our viewers that we are going to show very graphic violence on the ground.
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but the level of the violence againsthe protesters and just to the protesters are, the number of young people out in the streets and also the way the protest is now filtering out through all of society in burma -- the farmers in rural areas and others? >> everyone is coming out on the streets because this is no the first time. we have been through it many times before. this time people are very adamant that we don't want to live under another military dictatorship. that is why everyone is coming together with backgrounds, people from different ethnic backgrounds, religious backgrounds coming together, calling for federal democracy. if you're craing down on peaceful protesters, if you want to stop them, there are so many ways to stop peaceful protesters.
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what they are actually doing is shooting people in the head, shoot to kill. it is not stopping the peaceful protests, that is pure killing. that is why the statement has no impact on the military. they know they can get away with it and are getting away with it so far. so the violence has escalated every single day. amy: and the number of people dead? thousands? >> over 200 -- amy: 200 dead and thousands arrested. >> and we don't know how many people have died or arrested in remote area in ethnic states because there is no way of communication going on in remote areas at the moment. the over 2200 is the figure we have. nermeen: you talk about the world food program, the u.n. world
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food program has warned the situation in burma risks pushing poor families and to greater hunger. burma is among the poorest countries in asia. what do you know about the impact of what is happening on the most vulnerable in the country? >> it is getting worse and worse. of course we have -- it is a very poor country. we do not have any welfare system in the country. at the same time as the protests, we also have a civil disobedience movement going on which means people -- civil servants -- the military has been pushing to reopen schools, military hospitals, and banks and other sectors. but civil servants are saying, no, we're not going back to work as a way to protest against that. as much as it is very encouraging to see that,
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what i worry is how sustainable it is for the long-term. people are very poor in remote area, even in the cities. they have very little income coming from their job. if they stop working, even though it is not ok the first couple of months, they might be able to survive, but for the long-term and how sustainable it is is the worry we have. people will be poorer. there will be more people starving. the situation does not look good. nermeen: before we end, you talked earlier about china's role in the chinese factories have been and businesses have been attacked in burma. earlier, china had actually been one of the only countries to defend burma when you -- at the u.n. over its persecution
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of the rohingya muims community. so could you talk about how china is perceived among the protesters and whether china's position on burma has changed since the military coup? >> china has always been the supporter of the military and also providing technical support for the military in terms of surveillance and other technology. so because they are getting cheap access to natural resources in burma and doing a lot of investment inside the country while doing that, they are forcing ethnic people and local people out of their villages. so there are a lot of human rights relations surrounding chinese investment in the country. peop in burma don't like those human rights violations.
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of course, seeing china vetoing everything putting forward at the u.n. security council angered people inside the country as well. but when it comes to china, there is always the argument, oh, we need to engage with the military because by the international community say, oh, we cannot talk about human rights abuses it will drive burma into china's arms. but i not talking about it come you're actually driving burma into china's arms. that is why we are asking countries like the u.s. and u.k., basically a foreign policy on principle of rights and democracy and support people inside the country rather than arguing, oh, china is a blockage -- there's so many ways you can help. china'not the main problem. amy: as we go out, have you had any word from your father? and a brief history of him, which really is a history of modern-day bua.
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>> we have no news about my dad. we have no communication at all. the first time he was arrested, i was five-month-old. when i saw him, i was four years old. it was through iron bars. this is another history repeating inside the country. there are so many children going through what i went through, not knowing when they will see their parents again. and not knowing whthe parent is growing up without knowing your parent is is a heartbreaking situation. it is a history repeating itself stop that is why we are very adamant that we don't want to live under another military dictatohip and we don't want to go through that ever again. nermeen: very quickly, the question about china rlier defeing burm at the u.n. over its persecution of the rohingya muslims community?
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>> china has always defended about the human rights violations committed by the military. of course although the u.n. fact find mission call the rohingya genocide, the international community has done nothing about it. that is why -- now they can get away with staging a coup. the calculation is the international response is weak, we can do it we want, and they're doing that on the ground. amy: wai hnin, thank you for being with us, burmese human rights activist with burma campaign u.k. daughter of a political prisoner in jail right now. not his first time. we will continue to follow the situation on the ground in burma. this is democracy now! when we come back, are the u.s. and the u.k. leading to a new nuclear arms race?
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stay with us. ■■ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. the united nations and the united kingdom are facing international criticism for moving to expand their nuclear arsenals defying a growing global movement in support of nuclear disarmament. the united states is planning to spend $100 billion to develop a new nuclear missile which could travel 6000 miles carrying a warhead 20 times stronger than the one dropped on hiroshima. the cost of building and maintaining the ground-based strategic deterrent, or gbsd,
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could swell to $264 billion over the coming decades with much of the money going to defense contractors including northrop grumman, lockheed martin, and general dynamics. meanwhile, british prime minister boris johnson has just announced plans to lift the cap on its nuclear stockpile, increasing the number trident nuclear warheads by over 40%. the move ends three decades of gradual nuclear disarmament in the u.k. on wednesday, a spokesperson for the u.n. secretary-general criticized johnson's decision which would violate the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons or npt. >> we do express our concern at the u.k.'s decision to increase its nuclear weapons arsenal, which is contrary to its obligations under article six of the npt and could have a damaging impact on global stability and efforts to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons. at a time when nuclear weapon risks are higher
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than they have been since the cold war, investments in disarmament and arms control is the best way to strengthen the stability and reduce nuclear danger. amy: these developments come less than two months after the landmark u.n. treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons entered into force. the agreement has been ratified by more than 50 countries, but those do not include any of the world's nine nuclear powers -- britain, china, france, india, israel, north korea, pakistan, russia, and the united states. we are joined now by alicia sanders zakre, policy and research coordinator at the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. the group won the nobel peace prize in 2017. thank you for joining us from geneva, switzerland. can you talk first about the u.k. lifting the cap on development of more nuclear weapons? and then the united states veloping this massive quarter
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of a trillion dollar nuclear weapon? >> absolutely. thank you so much for having me here today. for paying attention to these rely important, really concerning developments in both the united states and the united kingdom. i think it is really important to link these two stories because we are saying this uniformed response of nuclear armed states to what the rest of the world is calling for, which is the total elimination of nuclear weapons. in the united kingdom, there was this reset irresponsible anti-democratic move to increase the cap of nuclear warheads, which also as mentioned in the introduction, is a violation of international law. this is entirely unacceptable. it has been rightly criticized both at home and abroad.
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it is a move that really flies in the face of what the rest of the world is calling for and with the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons represents. similarly in the united states, you have a move by the united states administration to continue to rebuild its nuclear arsenal. and one component of that is this $100 billion missile that you mentioned, and intercontinental ballistic missile of the united states that is set to remain in the united states until 2075. this is a long-term commitment. what people in the united states and the united kingdom are calling for, which is the elimination of nuclear weapons, to join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. nermeen: could you say a little more about this document that prime minister johnson has pushed forward?
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as you say, it is antidemocratic, met with widespread condemnation -- not only around the world, but also in britain. first of all, is it irreversible, the 40% crease in the number of trident nuclear warheads that the document lays out? and also, what does it have to do with brexit? this is apparently part of the johnson administration's plan for a post-brexit future and the role of britain globally? >> i think it is really important to stress it is not irreversible. this decision came out of what is called the integrated review, a review of defense and foreign policy that originally was supposed to be very futuristic, forward-looking, new policy post-cold war. what we actually see in the documents when it comes to nuclear weapons is really a return to dangerous,
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cold warhinking in terms of increasing a previously stated commitment -- a previous cap of nuclear warheads. in past reviews, the united kingdom had promised publicly to reduce its nuclear cap to 180 warheads by the mid-2020's. now without giving any real justification other than a change in the strategic environment, the united kingdom has chosen to increase that cap. i think it is very clear it is a political decision. it could be linked to the johnson administration's political agenda. i think in many ways linked to the previous trump administration agenda on nuclear weapons, which was to consider developing new types of nuclear weapons,
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to completely disregard international law and international opinion on nuclear weapons. but important to remembe yes, this is a product of a review but certain link, i think with public sure, both domestically and internationally, the u.k. can and absolutely musteverse this decision and instead take steps to join the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. amy: iran is accused of british prime minister worse johnson of utter hypocrisy on the same day he expressed concerns about iran's new the program. the iranian prime minister said -- your response? >> i think it has been a consistent problem and inrnational discourse nuclear wpons to really differentiate how we talk
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about certain nuclear arms countries. and the u.k. in the united states have really champion us. they consider themselves legitimate responsible their powers. in opposition to our recent nuclear armed states such as iran -- sorry, not iran, north korea. i think this is -- clearly this move is showing that is a false narrative. all countries with nuclear weapons have the destructive, unacceptable power to inflict really unprecedented humanitarian consequences for the world. and any nuclear arms states should be condemned for engaging in this behavior that has been outlined by international treaties -- most recently by the treaty on the prohibition of weapons.
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so no matter who the country is, developi, producing, maintaining the stockpiles is immoral moral and legal. amy: alicia sanders zakre, thank you for being with us, policy and research coordinator at the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, which won the nobel peace prize a few years ago. that does it for our show. happy birthday to steve de seve! 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
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