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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 31, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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[captioning made possible by democracy now! amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> they're not back home -- they're not going to surrender, not going back home. amy: restistance to the military coup in burma continues despite a bloody crackdown. more than 500 people killed during two months of protests,
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including the deadliest day, saturday alone, when soldiers opened fire, killing 140 people, including more children. we'll get an update from a burmese student. then, today is international trans day of visibility. we'll look at the wave of anti-trans laws being enacted across the country. >> it will be easy for transgender individuals to have the health care that they need, which is what we want, gives a freedom of choice and service for those that might have a conflict because of conscience. >> we have a signicant backlash to the notion that trans humanity will be recognize, and it is manifting across the country with banning trans people from amy: we'll
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speak with trans activists chase strangio and raquel willis whose dashers say visibility and know that alone will not keep transgender youth safe. and we'll look at how many states have excluded people held in prisons and jails from life-saving covid-19 vaccine rollouts. now i new york judge has ruled this is unfair and unjust for people held in one of the largest correctional systems in the country. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and -- the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin is entering its third day. chauvin faces murder and manslaughter charges for killing george floyd last may by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. on tuesday, jurors heard chilling testimony from eyewitnesses, including darnella frazier, who was just 17 years
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old when she used her cell phone to film the killing of george floyd. her image was not broadcast on the court television feed because she was a minor athe time of his death. >> when i look at george floyd, i look at my dad, my brothers, my cousins, uncles, because they are all black. i have a black father, brother, friends. and i look at that and look at how that could have been one of them. there have been nights i stayed up apologizing, apologizing to george floyd for not doing more and not interacting, not saving his life. like, it is not what i should have done, it was what he should have done.
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amy: now 18-year-old darnella frazier testifying at the trial of derek chauvin, who she says should have saved george floyd's life. mixed martial artist donald williams, who also witnessed floyd's death, told prosecutor matthew frank he called 911 after seeing chauvin put floyd in what williams had earlier called a "blood choke." >> at some point, did you make a 911 call? >> correct, i did call the police on the police. >> whyoo did you do that? >> because i believe i witnessed a murder. >> so you felt the need to call the police? >> need to call the police on the police. amy: lawyers for officer derek chauvin attempted to counter the moving accounts by portraying the eyewitnesses to george floyd's death as being part of an angry mob, but another one of
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the eyewitnesses was an off-duty firefighter and medic. genevieve hansen told prosecutor matthew frank that she urged the police officers to check george floyd's pulse as he lay motionless on the ground. >> i also offered -- in my memory, i offered to kind of walk them through it or told them, if he does not have a pulse, you need to start compressions, and that was not done either. >> are you saying you wanted to do it? >> it is what i would have done for anybody. >> when you could not do that, how did that make you feel? >> totally distressed. >> are you frustrated? >> yes. amy: minneapolis firefighter and emt genevieve hansen broke down in tears as she recalled seeing george floyd die and being prevented from helping him. visit to see all of our coverage on the
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police killing of orge floyd brazil is facing a mounting public health and political crisis. on tuesday, brazil recorded nearly 3,800 new covid-19 deaths, its highest daily death toll yet. meanwhile, the heads of brazil's my, navy, and air force all quit in an unprecedented move a day after brazil's far-right president jair bolsonaro ousted his defense minister as part of a broader cabinet shakeup. the developments have alarmed many in brazil who believe bolsonaro, who is a former army captain, will install ultra loyalists to the military posts to consolidate his power ahead of next year's election when he is expected to be challenged by former president luiz inacio lula da silva. the u.s. covid-19 death toll has topped 550,000, by far the highest in the world, and the true figure is likely even higher. a new study in the american
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journal of public health suggests florida has undercounted the number of covid deaths by thousands. this comes as arkansas has become the latest state to lift its statewide mask mandate, ignoring calls by president biden for states to keep restrictions in place as covid cases are rising in 26 states.
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in vaccine news, pfizer has announced clinical trials show its covid-19 vaccine is 100% effective for youths between the ages of 12 and 15. meanwhile, the "new york times" has revealed nyu langone health, major hospital system inew york city, has setside covid vaccines solely for employees of bloomberg, which is run by the billionaire former mayor of new york, mike bloomberg. the news comes just weeks after bloomberg philanthropies gave another part of nyu, that is new york university, a $25 million donation. in international news, palestinian authorities have received 100,000 vaccine doses fr china in a boost to efforts to vaccinate the 3 million palestinians living in the west bank. while israel has vaccinated more than half of its population, it has largely refused to vaccinate palestinians, excepfor some who work in israel or in illegal settlements. the white house as an -- has unveiled a $2 trillion jobs plan to help address the nation's deteriorating infrastructure. it includes over 650 billion dollars for roads, bridges, railways, and ports, over $300 billion for housing infrastructure, $300 billion for domestic manufacturing, and billions for modernizing the electrical power grid, expanding broadband and eliminating lead pipes in drinking water systems. to pay for the plan, president biden wants to increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to
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28%, end federal tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, and crack down on corporate tax avoidance. a grand jury in texas has indicted two former police deputies on second-degree manslaughter charges for killing javier ambler, a 40-year-old african-american man. ambler was tasered to death in austin in march of 2019 after being pulled over for not dimming his headlights for oncoming traffic. as he was dying, ambler said "i have congestive heart failure" and "i can't breathe." bail has been set at $150,000 for the two deputies, james johnson and zachary camden. two police officers at the u.s. capitol who were injured in the january 6 insurrection have sued former president trump for inciting and directing the right-wing rioters. meanwhile, republicans are continuing to embrace backers of the violent insurrection. video has emerged showing
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stewart rhodes, the founder of the far-right group the oath keepers, spoke at an official republican event in texas on march 26 in the border town of laredo. other speakers at the event included texas republican party chairman allen west. over a dozen members of the oath keepers have been charged with conspiracy for attacking the u.s. capitol. a warning to our audience, the following story includes graphic description and video of a hate crime. new york police have arrested a man who viciously attacked a 65-year-old filipino woman near times square as she was walking to church on monday. video footage shows the man kicked the woman in her stomach and then repeatedly stomped on her face while reportedly yelling anti-asian slurs. the assailant walked away as bystanders, including security guards at a luxury apartment building, did nothing in response.
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new york mayoral candidate andrew yang condemned the attack. >> an elderly asian woman walking the streets of hell's kitchen could easily have been my mother, because that is where we live. so when i saw this video, that is who i thought of. my children absolutely play in that playground across the street from that apartment buildiac regularly. so seeing this happen in my neighborhood hits very close to home. amy: u.s. attorney general merrick garland has ordered the justice department to conduct a 30-day review of what he called a disturbing trend of hate crimes targeting asian americans. in news from mali, a united nations investigation has determined french warplanes bombed a wedding party in january, killing 19 civilians. the mass killing prompted protests in mali where france has deployed 5,000 troops. france rejected the findings of
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the u.n. report, claiming all of the victims were islamic militants. the biden administration has finally allowed some journalists inside a temporary customs and border protection jail in donna, texas. over 4,100 asylum seekers , including 3400 unaccompanied children, are being held at the site which has an official pandemic capacity of just 250. that is due to the pandemic. children were seen crying as they lay on floor mats while being covered by foil blankets. one cbs reporter counted 615 children in a plastic-walled pod designed to hold just 32 people during the pandemic. lawmakers in washington state have passed a bill banning for-profit prisons and immigrant detention facilities in a move that could result in the eventual shutdown of the northwest detention center in to,, washington, which -- in
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tacoma, washington, which is run by the geo group. the bill now heads to governor there have been several hunger strikes in the jail. the bill now heads to governor jay inslee's desk. the w york state legislature has voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults and to expunge the records of people previously convicted of possession of small amounts of marijuana. governor andrew cuomo has vowed to sign the legislation. florida republican congressmember matt gaetz is facing a department of justice probe into whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws by having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paying for her to travel with him. gaetz has denied the reports and claims he is a victim of criminal extortion. the probe grew out of an investigation of one of gaetz's political allies, joel greenberg, who was indicted last year for sex trafficking of a child, among other charges. in any 19, -- in 2019, gaetz and
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greenberg visited the white house together. and the notorious republican operative g. gordon liddy has died at the age of 90. liddy spent four and a half years in jail for his role in the 1972 break-in of the democratic party national headquarters at the watergate complex, which led to the downfall of richard nixon. he also once admitted to making plans to kill the investigative journalist jack anderson. and romaine "chip" fitzgerald has died in prison after being locked up for over 51 years in california. he was the youngesimprisoned member of the black panther party. for decades, authorities in california refused to grant him parole, even after he had a stroke and was forced to use a wheelchair or walker. chip fitzgerald was 71 years old. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,
8:15 am, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman in new york, joined by cohost juan gonzalez in new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy, and welcome to our viewers across the country and around the world. amy: we begin todays's show in burma, where more than 500 people have been killed during protestsgainst the february 1 military coup that toppled burma's democratically elected civilian government. at least 141 people were killed on saturday alone in the bloodiest day so far, as soldiers opened fire on civilians demonstrating against military rule in dozens of cities and towns across the country. children were among the dead, including a 5-year-old boy, according to amnesty international, and a 13-year-old girl. on sunday, burmese troops fired on a funeral service for a 20- year-old student protester killed near the commercial capital rangoon. the attacks drew condemnation from the european union, united
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states, u.k., and germany, with the u.n. special rapporteur for burma accusing the military regime of mass murder. on tuesday, u.s. secretary of state antony blinken condemned the crackdown and called for international companies to consider cutting ties to enterprises that support burma's military. >> the people of burma are speaking clearly, they do not want to live under military rule. that is evident from what we are seeing, hearing, and witnessing. we continue to call on the military regime to release those people that are unjustly detained, stop attacks on civil society members, journalists, labor unions. halt the killings by security forces. and return to power the democratic -- democratically elected government. the perpetrators must be held accountable. amy: this comes as human rights activists are calling on
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international energy companies , like chevron, to withhold revenues from natural gas projects they operate in burma from the junta-controlled government. meanwhile, an estimated 3,000 people have fled southeastern burma into thailand after the burmese military bombed areas controlled by the karen ethnic minority group. at least 459 people, including at least 35 children, have been killed since the start of protests, according to rights groups. burma is also known as myanmar. military leaders changed the name to myanmar in 1989 after brutally suppressing a pro-democracy uprising. for more, we are joined by aron aung, from rangoon, former capital of burma, now called yangon. he came to the u.s. to attend college and is a senior at the new york institute of technology. his recent piece for manhattan globe is headlined, "misogyny
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silenced, feminism amplified." welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. first of all, i want to say you are incredibly brave to come on this broadcast, to show your face, and i'm wondering if you can talk about what is happening in your home country, talk about your family, and why you have chosen to do this first broadcast interview of your life. >> as we all know, the military took over, the coup in my country, and since then, it has been almost over two months now. so many people have died so far. the number is just an estimate, and a seven-year-old girl is one of the youngest victims. a five-year-old boy recently the situation back home does not seem to be getting any better. there are some days where people
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have a little more hope, but most days it is more gloomy. many of us abroad, we are very worried about people back home. we wake up to more deaths every morning. it has just been chaotic. everyone is really worried for my family, our family, but my family back home, they are staying safe at home, staying indoors here and you know, doing their best during this tough time. juan: you mentioned your family. your parents themselves, have they talked to you about their participation decades ago, in the 1980's, and that the mocracy movement then, what is different about this movement versus the uprising of young people back then? >> right, so i know that my
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parents were part of the 1988 revolution, as so many people marched the streets back then. they have told me stories about the crackdowns back then, but the thing is, they also said the protests back then lasted only about two months because there was a huge military crackdown. but the difference is that back then, they did not have telecommunications and the internet like we do. nowadays, we are all so connected. there are a lot of young people that our technology more smart. now that we have a better sense of sharing information, we know what to do. we're planning to do a certain protester they, things are happening. unlike back then when they had no internet connections or phone calls, so they had to just hide in homes and surrender to the coup. but what is different about this time is that we are all so
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connected, and everyone is very angry. we are not going to stop protesting him and not going to submit to this military regime. it is time that they end and step down. juan: i want to ask a little bit in terms of the history of burma , because the military has dominated the lives of the country ever since he became independent. but it was, for 120 years, a colony of the british empire. and the burmese army was, in essence, sorta created during the japanese occupation during world war ii by the japanese fascists. i am wondering, what is the responsibility of countries like the u.k. and the rest of the world, as you are battling to reestablish democracy? >> right, so the military is very deep-rooted in our history. like you said, it was formed
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during the japanese take over our country back then. a sickly, they rose into power when we "won" independence from the british. so what happened was, after we received independence, our father of independence, he was assassinated, and the country kind of went into turmoil under no rulers, so the military stood up and took over. and they have not given back the power to the people sense. so very deep-rooted. i believe that countries like the united kingdom and japan, all these countries, they do have a sense of responsibility to appoint that this is a very deep-rooted issue and they should be supporting the people in this modern world we live in today. amy: your piece in the maattan
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globe, the new york institute of technology newspaper, begins, "i remember as a young boy sitting in restaurants with neighbors in tea shops hearing shh amongst the voices, hearing clinking cups, and when police were detected, people would stop talking and try to ignore these many uniforms. one cannot help but be intimidated by them." talk about growing up there and what your parents went to's -- would say to you about what could be talked about, and now as you desperately try to reach your parents on the phone. >> yeah, so i grew up under the military regime, a sickly born into it. -- they sickly -- basically born into it.
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it was a scarier time then, but as a kid, i did not really understand anything. out in the public, everyone was scared of soldiers. i just thought soldiers was something someone should be scared of, not appreciated or loved like in other countries like the united states were marines or soldiers are congratulated and everyone -- even when you see those marines on the street, you say "thank you for your service." that is not the experience i had in my country. instead, we were taught to fear them. democracy is definitely not a word back then when i was growing up to be talked about. we cannot talk about certain people and public because you never knew who was listening. back then, undercover cops were a huge thing so even in tea shops are getting breakfast, -- it is a huge culture in my country to go to tea shops in the morning to catch up on daily
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news and stuff. so they would place these undercover cops in these tee shot's and restaurants so they could listen in to the citizen'' conversations, prosecute them at will. yeah, so it was very interesting growing up, the experience, looking back to it now. amy: you also write about the women-led revolution, which i do nothing people here so much about in burma. you talked about aung san suu kyi, who was detained by the military on february 1, at the time of the military coup, but thees significance of who is in the streets right now? >> yeah, so a few weeks ago, we had revolution named for the traditional sarong worn by the women of myanmar. our country has deep-rooted
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misogyny, culturalist. we have this idea, a topic i talked about in the second article i wrote for school, which is the idea that men have a higher aura, or not a physical -- just like luck, than women. this has been ingrained in all of us. but it has nothing to do with religion or anything, it is just a cultural thing where we have been raised. but with this revolution, a few weeks ago, women stood up to the front lines. and women have be standing up in this revolution, women ha been on the front lines. they have been showi men, proving to these misogynistic men that they have some power and can do what tse men are doing. and so they started going out -- they protested, went out on the
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streets, td their sarongs to sticks and waived them as flags proudly in the air. they started tying their undergarments on the street poles, because there is also a lief that men are not to walk underneath these skirts, like women's clothing items and stuff like that. so these soldiers were actually hesitant to cross these lines because of the women's undergarments blocking the way. so they had to spend time taking them down, which gave protesters time to run away and hide from them. so i am just so happy with people's creativity back home in the way in which we protest and how we do it so seamlessly and peacefully. juan: aron, about that issuof peaceful protest, there have long been ethnic groups in differ parts of the country that have resisted the control of the central government.
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back in the british colonial period, the british pitted different ethnic groups within verma against each other. i'm wondering your sense of the potential for the armed groups of the ethnic minorities to unite with the broader peaceful movement that has developed in the city with dictatorship. >> sure. growing up, the news media portrayed these ethnic military groups as like rebel groups, right, so until, honestly, up until the coup, i also believed that to be true. i just thought that they had these rebel military groups. but little did we know, now that they are speaking up about it and now we find out that this
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military ethnic cleansing has been going on for way too long, and the people of burma were unaware of it in the major cities. but all they were trying to do is protect their own people from the military. and right now, all the so-called rebel groups, they are no longer rebel groups. they are fighting for us, fighting for the people of myanmar. they have be joining together to form our own military, to serve under the crph, the city representing the democratic government group that we, the people, of myanmar elected in the 2020 election that has been overthrown. amy: finally, are you afraid for your family back for -- back in burma? >> very. i would like to think that they would be safe inside their own homes up until recently. but just seeing videos and news
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of them jusbarging into people's houses with no respect for human life, it is just honestly, like, you never know what they will do. they are targeting any activist, anyone, honestly, like who would go into a house to murder a seven-year-old child? you know? amy: aron aung, thank you for being with us and for your bravery. he is in the u.s. for college, a senior at the new york institute of technology. we will link to your pieces in the manhattan globe, among them, "misogyny silenced, feminism amplified." next up, today's international trans day of visibility. we will look at the wave of anti-trans laws being enacted throughout the country. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "not your muse" by celeste. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman. there are dozens more anti-trans bills making their way through state legislatures. this week, the arkansas senate approved one of the most harmful bans on access for health care for transgender youth. the measure would prohibit the use of gender-affirming care, including hormones and puberty blockers, care that has been lifesaving. unless republican governor asa hutchinson vetoes the bill, arkansas would become the first u.s. state to ban gender-affirming care to trans youth. earlier this month, arkansas, tennessee, and mississippi
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enacted new laws aimed at banning trans athletes from joining sports teams. in tennessee, the legislation forces trans students to show legal documents revealing the sex they were assigned at birth in order to participate in middle and high school sports. and in south dakota, republican governor kristi noem issued two executive orders monday, banning trans women and girls from playing school sports. as attacks against the trans community intensify, so has their resistan, with trans youth leading the fight against violence and discrimination. this is trans seventh-grader kris wilka, who plays football for north middle school in harrisburg, south dakota. his last school refused to let him play on its team because he is trans. wilka said football has saved his life. >> if football did not exist, i do not think it would be here. the person next to you and the
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person behind you, just let them live their life the way they want to and make them feel accepted. because that is all anyone ever wants. amy: today is international trans day of visibility, which this year was marked with a week of action, urging people to be active in the fight against anti-trans legislation, violence, and discrimination. joining us now are raquel willis, activist and award-winning writer, former executive director of "out" magazine, and chase strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the aclu's lgbt & hiv project. they cowrote a new piece in the nation entitled "visibility alone will not keep transgender use -- youth safe." welcome to democracy now! chase strangio, can you review
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the laws being voted on across this country, starting with the latest, arnsas? >> yeah, we're truly witnessing an escalation of attacks on transeople, unlike anything i have ever seen in the government. this week the arkansas senate passed hb 1570, a sweeping bill that was strip young people of health care that we know they needed to survive. it is going to the governor's desk. only four more days for him to veto ts bill. and young people and their families across arkansas are already planning for the worst. people are considering fleeing their homes, having to relocate to other states. young people are in sheer panic. we have to understand, this is medically supported care approved by every major dical association that people need to stay well, to stay alive. and we are on the verge of having that stripped away from hundreds of people across the state of arkansas. unfortunately, their similar bills pending currently in alabama and tennessee comport of
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this wave of anti-trans legislation that stard at the beginning of 2021 and has escalated throughout the state legislative sessions. juan: chase, what do you attribute this sudden wave of legislation in various states across the country? >> you know, this year is particularly egregious and sweeping, but this is something that has been the culmination of work from an anti-trans, anti-lgbtq lobby for the past at least seven years, and we can't trace the history going back much, much longer. we can look at the moral panic of anita fry and even just looking 100 years in the past and ways in which colonial powers used regulation to control bodies to exert power. there is a long history. i think what we're seeing today in state legislators is a particular effort to pay from the anti-trans restaurant bills into a new form of regulation of trans young peoplend trans
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bodies, and they have seen an opening because they have built alliances, even with some people who consider themselveliberals and progressives but have made camp placement -- complacent or have joined forces on the attacks on juncker trans people so we are seeing an escalation in super majoritrepublican legislators where we are not countering the legislation with the appropriate resistance. juan: i would like to bring racquel into the conversation. you tweeted that "the gop continues to terrorize communities on the margins all across this country. this is why we must come together on these fights, as a black tranwoman from georgia, it is not lost on me, these fights against people of color and lgbtq connected." can you elaborate? >> absolutely, yeah. i am from georgia, and when i think about my life, all of my identities have played a role in
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the way i have navigated society and, of course, the ways i have been made a target. so when i think about the recent passage of voter restrictions back in georgia, i think about the ways in which it is all about policing communities of color, and that is completely tied to this onslaught against trans people. is about policing our bodies. this is about interrogating what power looks like and how to build it within our society. it makes absolutely no sense for these people to be trying to control the lives of vulnerable communities. and when i think about trans children, it is so horrible how they are being stripped of their childhood. and not even looked at as the humans that they are. amy: i wanted to ask chase about one of the aclu's clients,
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andraya yearwood, black trans studio athlete, recent high school graduate who ran on her school's girls' track team. let's go to her in her own words. >> one of the issues our community is facing is misinformation in general, who we are and what it stands for and whour community is. i have been wanting to, i guess, mbat that. more education within our school system so that people do not say, oh, that is a man or that is a woman, miss gender, and i feel education is very important in having people understand what we as a communitstand for. amy: chase, can you tell us about andraya. >> yes, i want to say that andraya yearwood and terry miller, o young black women
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who have endured so many attacks sibley for existing and participating in school sports alongside their peer as they ha every right to do. andraya is a young person who gruated from high school, and she was a trac athletehat trained every day for four hour workeso hard and ved the sport, and how is she rewarded for that? she is a centerpiece of an attack and pain with piecesn fox news targeting her, a lawsuit brought by -- trying to block her from running her senior year, which all of the senior seasons were ultimately canceled because of covid, but the wsuit continued even though she quit the sport altother due to the ongoing harassment. the lawsuit is continuing because they are trying to strip her anderry opast titles, and any win they have achieved, th're ting to get it erased from records, even records in
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their individual high schools. they have been the subjects of so much misinformation and assault that they have displaced these athletes when all they were doing was running, consistent with the rights under state and federal law, winning sometimes. an imptant clarification point here is that there are claims that these athletes will be somehow displaced in scholarships by transgendered athletes. no out transgendered athlete in high school has received scholarships for college because of the discrimination. terry and andraya never once got a recruitment call. we have a serious conversation to have about how much discrimination trans people are facing, yet they are still escalating attacks.
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amy: if you can also elaborate on that, racquel, and talk about the piece the two of you co-authored for the nation. "visibility alone will not keep transgender youth safe." what will, racquel? >> yeah, i think a good start of the work chase and i have been partnering on over this last week is we have expanded trans day of visibility into trans week of visibility, really getting people to be about that access. it means we cannot just rest on some of the social strides we have made, whether it is in hollywood or on different screens in these different sectors. those things are powerful and great, and we definitely need to see more of our stories in media and in these ways. but we also ed to be using th action to change our reality and protect our rights. so this week has really been, for us, all about getting people mobilized so that they can contact lawmakers and let them know that trans peoplhave a
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whole group of people who support us, are behind us, who love us, and want to see us safe and protected. you know, when i think about trans youth, i think about two who really inspired me because of the ways that their lives ended just a few years ago. within months of each other, lelah alcorn, a young trans girl, and blake, and young trans boy, died by suicide, right, and we know, based on the things they said and the people who knew them and of crse a suicide letter that was published online by lelah after she passed, is that they felt like they were not being supported, that there was no future for them as openly trans youth. and i am afraid that if we do not get involved and be active, we are going to see that trend continue. juan: chase, if you can give us a quick take on how you see the
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biden admistration, the actions it is taking on behalf of the trans communityn the first three months of the presidency. >> i mn, i think we have seen some important federal executive actions coming down from this administration, and hope to see way more robust actions from this administration enrcing fedel civil rights laws. as we think about what today represents, i also want to say that the law alone is not going to save us, that we're are ultimately going to have to energize and mobilize and build power for our communits. there are two essential things for as a trans person that saved life, sports and alth care. and those are things being stripped away from our young people. yes, we already have the legal rights. all of the bills are illegal, violating title ix and the constitution. we need mobilization and resources going to our organizations and in support for our communities, materially, beyond visibility and beyond
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what the law can afford. amy: chase, you spoke to joanna brandt, the mother of a 15-year-old trans boy, ahead of arkansas's senate vote earlier this month. this is joanna speaking about the importance of gender-affirming care for her son dylan. >> after two years of therapies, doctors visits, and rmone therapy, dylan is happy, healthy, confident, and hopeful for his future. his outside now mentions how he feels on the inside of a supporting of eir lgbt ks. trans girls are girls, and trans ys are boy did the eyeing accesso health care idenying t right to be themselves. my son will be devastated if he forced to op h hormone treatments. all of the progress he has me any plans to graduate haskell and go to college, presenting outwdly in the full expression of how he feels on the insid
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would come to a screeching ha. it will be heart wrenching, not ly for h but for all the other trans youth in arkansas that dependent on this care. amy: chase strangio, it looks like the government is going to sign this legislation. is that right? >> you know, i am hopeful that we can mobilize for a veto, and i think everyone should take action. we have a few days to tell him to veto it, because it will send a message to trans young people, and even if he does veto it, it is a simple majority override in the legislature. we are preparing because we want trans people to know we will defend their ability to access life-saving care through any possible tool that we have in our toolbox. amy: and your final comments on this day of trans visibility, raquel willis? >> yes, i mean, i think we have to continue to have a nuanced discussion about what visibility means. there are so many great strides that come from it, but it also makes our community more of a
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target. the other thing i want to say it is -- is it is important for us, along with being in contact with lawmakers, to make sure we're supporting the organizers and organizations on the front lines of this work everyday, so we donate and support their work. and we will continue to move forward. amy: raquel willis, leading transgender activists, we will link to your and changed -- chase strangio's piece in the nation, headlined "visibility alone will not keep transgender youth safe."
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chase strangio, directory -- with the aclu. next, many states are excluding incarcerated people from life-saving covid-19 vaccines. we will look at how a new york judge has ruled this unfair and unjust. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: the theme song to "threatening weather." this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. if you would like our daily
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digest, the headlines of the day, our stories, and news alerts, you can sign up at or text the word democracynow, one word, to 66866. well, we end today's show looking at how many states have excluded people held in prisons and jails from life-saving covid-19 vaccine rollouts. now a judge in new york has ruled this is unjust and unfair for people held in one of the largest correctional systems in the country. in a strongly worded decision monday, new york state supreme court justice alison tuitt ordered the state to immediately vaccinate incarcerated people and said officials "irrationally distinguished between incarcerated people and people living in every other type of adult congregate facility, at great risk to incarcerated people's lives during this pandemic." this comes as people who work in
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new york's prisons and jails became eligible to receive the vaccine in january. justice tuitt's decision also came as cuomo announced all new yorkers over age 30 can now access to the vaccine. she ruled incarcerated people even younger than 30 should also be offered vaccinations now. the lawsuit was filed on behalf of two people held in new york city's rikers island jail, 24-year old alberto frias and 52-year-old charles holden, who lives in a dorm with 48 of 50 beds filled, with the beds inches apart. the complaint says he shares "eating spaces, toilets, sinks, showers, televisions, telephones , and recreational spaces of other incarcerated men. at meal time, he eats at a communal table surrounded by other incarcerated people who cannot wear masks while they eat." in short "every aspect of his , daliily life is communal and e is not able to practice social distancing."
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currently, about 10% of people held at rikers have covid-19. new york jails about 34,000 people. only about 1,300 inmates who are senior citizens or have pre-existing conditions have already been fully vaccinated. for more, we go to soffiyah elijah, executive director of the alliance of families for justice, which supports people impacted by the criminal justice system. she's also an attorney who has represented many political prisoners, some of whom are now in their 60's, 70's, and 80's and have contracted cova. soffiyah, welcome back to democracy now! talk aut the significance of this court rulin >> what is extremely significant, families and advocates have been begging, pleading, and trying to prod the department and goverr cuomo nce the beginning of the pandemic to prioritize the health and safety of incarcerated people, and all of
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our efforts seem to have fallen on deaf ears. it is unfortunate it took court intervenon to make this thing do what it is supposed to do, and we applaud and encourage more on this very important decision. juan: i am wondering if you can talk about the population in new yorktate -- clearly, the prison system of new york state has had a sharp drop in the number of incarcerated people, but also, those incarcerated have grown increasingly older, haven't they? the number or percentage of the inmates who are in the most vulnerable population? >> yes, the median age of the prison population, not only in new york but across the country, is increased, due in part to harsh sentences that has been handed down for decades in our country and this state, and people in the country who are older are at greater risk because of their health
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conditio. so we have a virtual ticking time bomb with respect to the health of incarcerating people, older incarcerated people. and it took a very long time for new york state to finally even offer testing to the incarcerated populations, and even longer to offer vaccinations for the incarcerated population. juan: i wanted to ask you about a bill that was passed by the new york state lawmakers that would end the excessive use of solitary confinement. governor cuomo now has less than 24 hours to sign it. the albany times this week called for a halt to this prison torture. could you talk about the prospect of the governor signing this bill? >> we certainly support signing the bill. i think all informed advocates and well-meaning people understand that the use of solitary confinement is torture.
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it is a shame it has taken this long for this issue to rise to the level now where it is sitting on the governor's desk. whether or not the governor is going to sign it still remains to be seen. certainly he ought to. advocates are gearing up today to increase the pressure on him to sign this bill. if he does not sign it, he is basically signing off and agreeing to torture inside prisons and jails in this state. amy: soffiyah elijah, i wanted to ask about two people still in prison, including former member of the black panther party, sundiata acoli, who is now 84 years old and has been in prison in new jersey for nearly half a century, even though he has been eligible for parole for almost three decades. he was denied parole again in february. an appeals court said he should be free. you've supported acoli for decades. last year, he contracted covid-19 and was hospitalized,
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and he reportedly has early-stage dementia. do you think he will live long enough to appear before the parole board again? and describe what could happen when his case is reviewed later this year by new jersey's supreme court. then talk about another prisoner who also contracted covid-19 in a pennsylvania prison. >> yes, thank you. parole has been denied s times for acoli, clainge is a risk to public safety. he is 84 years old and since 1979, he has been held in several facilities. his last job in the federal facility where he is held now, before the pandemic, was to teach a course called avoiding criminal thinking, which he was tasked to teach by the borough of prisons to incarcerated men so they could avoid recidivism when thereturn to society.
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clearly, he presents no risk, and at 84 years old with dementia, it is unfounded that they should continue to deny him. his current hit before the corrt -- parole board, how old he would be before he would return, is 93, and he's waiting now to see how much more time the parole board is going to tack onto that for him to be eligible to return to the parole board. so they're hoping and trying to make sure that he dies in the prison. it is important to understand that in new jersey, there is a presumption of a right to parole, so wn someoneerves the nimum sentence, they should be eligible for parole unless their disciplinary record indicates otherwise. he has had a discipline-free record for the past 27 years, so he has been more than eligible for release. this fall, the new jersey supreme court will hear the appeal. his deniaof his fourth
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appearance before the parole board. and we're hopeful that we will be successful in the crts in new jersey. amy: we just have 20 seconds, but the latest on the other prisoner, who had covid. >> yes, he also ntraed cova 19 inse the prison, and it is a clear indication about the lack of social distancing, the lack of adequate health care for incarcerated people. i hope and pray he survives. amy: soffiyah elijah, thank you so much for being with us, executive director of the alliance of families for justice. that does it for our show. a very happy worth data mike burke. and a fond farewell to our producer. we have traveled all over, from the firefighting prisoner -- prison camps in northern california to the border to those long train rides between
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washington, d.c., at the last minute in new york, and river the climate summit is in the world. your compassion and humor and intelligence will be missed. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] fvfvfvfvfvfvfvfvfvfvfv
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[mikael colville-andersen] when we travel to other cities, we often experience a sense of familiarity. fragments of the urban landscape remind us of somewhere else. it could be street typology, architecture, topography, even just a feeling of another place. not once, however, has it ever happened to me here. there is no where else like it on the planet, and it's quite impossible to imagine that there ever could be. in order to discover the life-sized city here, i have to ignore the vast scale of the urban landscape because this... is tokyo.


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