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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  September 21, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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♪ amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> i believe this is a moment of potentially great change. this is our moment to get working people back in the economy. this is our moment to prove to the american people that the government works for them, not just for big rporations and those of us at the very top. amy: psident biden's domestic agenda in jeopardy
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as industry lobbyists push back against his sweeping $3.5 trillion plan to expand the nation's safety social net and to combat the climate emergency while increasing taxes on the rich. we will speak with congress member ro khanna about the spending bills, afghanistan, iraq, l rio, texas and more. 10 years ago today, the state of georgia executed troy anthony davis for a crime many believe the heat -- many believe he did not commit. democracynow was live outside 10 years ago. >> those of us who knew troy davis and sat with him and talk to him know that he was somebody who was full of love for his family, for humanity, for a movement he
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was born into, somebody who said this movement started before i died and a matter what happens, it must ghost -- it must grow stronger. amy: that was then president of the naacp, ben jealous. he will join us now along with troy davis's sister, camberley davis. -- kimberly davis. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in del rio, texas, photographs and video footage of border patrol agents on horseback chasing, grabbing and assaulting -- and whipping haitian asylum-seekers have sparked widespread condemnation. one border agent was heard screaming obscenities at asylum seekers, including children, after they
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attempted to return to a makeshift camp where thousands have been staying underneath a bridge for days. >> hey, you usually women this way? [bleep] amy: white house officials said they will investigate the violent incidents. meanwhile, homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas traveled monday to the makeshift camp in del rio, where he once again warned asylum seekers not to come to the united states. >> only haitians living in the united states before july 29 are eligible for temporary protected status. if you come to the united states illegally, you will be returned. your journey will not succeed and you will be endangering your life and your family. amy: driven by hunger,
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hundreds of haitian asylum seekers were driven back into mexico. this is a haitian asylum-seeker who says he and his two children went without food for four days. >> at night, it is difficult. people in the united states do not give us anything, just water. children are going hungry. we are out in the open. the united states government has no conscience. amy: advocates say at least three more deportation flights were sent to haiti yesterday. several more are expected in the coming days as the biden administration continues its mass expulsion of haitian asylum seekers including families and children. the biden administration signaled monday it will set a cap on refugee admissions
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to the united states at 125,000, a significant increase from the trump administration, which admitted fewer than 12,000 refugees last year. amnesty international called on president biden to go much further, citing political crises in afghantan and haiti. amnesty said quote, "the very least the united states can do is set a resettlement goal that meets the moment, anything but a robust commitment to humanitarian protections for refugees and asylum-seekers is a dismal failure or cow -- dismal failure." here in new york, world leaders have gathered for the united nations general assembly, with covid-19 and the climate emergency set to dominate talks. on monday, president biden flew to new york monday ahead of his first address to the u.n. assembly today. biden met with u.n. secretary-general antonio guterres, who warned the u.s. against provoking a new cold war with china. last year's general assembly was a mostly virtual affair due to the pandemic, but
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this year thousands of people from around the world are converging on manhattan, raising fears of a super-spreader event. on sunday evening, brazil's far-right president jair bolsonaro -- who has bragged about not being vaccinated -- was spotted eating pizza with his entourage on the sidewalk outside a manhattan pizzeria. new york restaurants require proof of vaccination against covid-19 for entry. this comes after a member of bolsonaro's u.n. delegation tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in new york. on monday new york mayor bill deblasio had this response. >> we need to send a message to all the world leaders, including most notably, bolsonaro from brazil, that if you intend to come here, and don't want to be vaccinated, don't bother coming. amy: a roundtable discussion was held with world leaders, calling on nations including the united states to meet their commitments to a $100
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billion a year climate fund. the call came weeks before the human is set to convene a crucial climate summit in scotland. >> my message this morning and to the conference is that we need decisive action now to avert climate catastrophe. for that, we need solidarity. saving these and future generations is the government responsibility. amy: youth activists are holding a global climate strike on friday, september 24, including here in new york city, which will coincide with the u.n.'s climate week. ahead of the strike, a sweetest -- a swedish climate activist says the movement also needs to ckle racism, sexism and inequality. >> the climate crisis is because for the same thing fueling other crises and inequality around the world.
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we cannot solve just one of these crises without also addressing the others. amy: the united states reported over coronavirus 2200 deaths on monday, bringing its death toll since the start of the pandemic to 676,000. that's more people than were killed by influenza across the u.s. during the 1918 pandemic. areas with the lowest vaccination rates remain the hardest-hit by the delta coronavirus variant. term -- for the first time in history, alabama recorded more deaths than births in 2020. in mississippi, republican governor tate reeves condemned president biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers as a quote "tyrannical move". mississippi has the highest death rate from covid-19 in the u.s. if it were a country, mississippi uld be second only to peru in per-capita coronavirus deaths. meanwhile the biden
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administration said monday it will lift covid-19 travel restrictions in november on passengers from the u.k., european union, china, iran, brazil, south africa and india. india said monday it will resume exporting domestically-produced covid-19 vaccines to other nations, five months after it suspended exports of astrazeneca shots to amid a -- astrazeneca shots amid a vastating wave of infections. meanwhile a new study finds wealthy nations have stockpiled more vaccines than their populations are willing to consume, with about 100 million ses set to expire, unused, by the end of the year. in sudan, government and military leaders say they thwarted an attempted coup d'etat. sudanese state media says military officers and civilians linked to the former regime unsuccessfully tried to seize a state-run radio and tv building and several other government institutions around the capital, khartoum.
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president omar al-bashir ruled sudan from 1993 until april 2019, when he was ousted from power by the military amid massive popular protests. as tanks and other heavy vehicles surrounded sudan's parliament, a member of the ruling military-civilian council wrote on social media quote "all is under control. the revolution is victorious." canada's liberal party is poised to hold onto power and will form a minority government after a narrow election win over opposition conservatives on monday. incumbent prime minister justice trudeau called the snap election in mid-august in a bid to win support for his response to the pandemic. >> you are sending us back to work with a clear mandate and that is exactly what we are ready to do. amy: the u.s. supreme court is set to hear arguments involving a mississippi law
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that bans most abortions 15 weeks into a pregnancy. reproductive justice advocates warn the case poses a direct threat to roe vs. wade. in related news, a doctor in san antonio, texas is being sued after being -- after admitting to performing an abortion after the enforcement of a contested anti-abortion law. the civil lawsuit was filed -- the texas law bans all abortions in the state after six weeks --- before most people even realize they are pregnant -- and allows for private citizens to sue anyone who "aids and abets" a person in getting an abortion. the civil lawsuit was filed by a man in arkansas, who has no connection to said abortion, and who said he had only filed the suit because of the potential $10,000 reward he could receive if the lawsuit is successful. at least 10 women and girls are killed every day in mexico. that's according to a chilling new report published by amnesty
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international which also condemns mexican authorities for failing to investigate femicides. the report, titled "justice on trial," focuses on mexico state, which accounts for some of the highest numbers of femicides in the country country -- in the country, and details how families and loved ones of victims are often forced to launch their own investigations as they're ignored by law enforcement. mexico recorded the murders of over 3,700 women in 2020, only 940 of those killings were investigated as femicides. in new york, federal prosecutors have rested their case in the trial against accused sexual predator and trafficker r. kelly, who faces several charges including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping and forced labor. nearly a dozen survivors and 30 other witnesses detailed the singer's pattern of sexual and other abuse against dozens of women and underage girls for nearly two decades. cases against r. kelly have also been filed in illinois and minnesota. if convicted, he faces decades behind bars. new york city's medical examiner's office says it will investigate the death
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of a disabled prisoner who died sunday evening at rikers island after complaining he was feeling unwell. the 42-year-old was being held for a parole violation. under the less is more act, just signed last week by they new york governor, he might have been cleared for release as early as this week. he is the 11th person or -- 11th prisoner to die at rikers since december. the new york mayor has pledged to close rikers. in rwanda, the opposition political leader has been found guilty of terrorism and is instanced -- and sentenced to 25 years in prison. his story is portrayed in the hollywood film, hotel rwanda -- saying his trial
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was riddled with violations. this is his daughter speaking yesterday. >> my father was tortured, kidnapped, denied basic rights and now they just gave him a guilty verdict, a verdict that comes without credible evidence. the coaccused came on the stand and said they were forced and coerced and tortured into saying things against my father and witnesses are paid government agents. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show looking at what senator bernie sanders calls the "mosconsequential legislation since the 1930's and fdr and the new deal." we are talking about president biden's sweeping $3.5 trillion spending plan to expand the social safety net, increase taxes on the rich and corporations, improve worker rights and combat the climate crisis.
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senate democrats are hoping to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the larger package but this will only succeed if the entire democratic caucus backs the deal. so far, two conservative democratic senators kyrsn sinema of arizona and joe mahin of wt virginia - have balked at the $3.5 trillion price tag. this comes as house democrats face a looming deadline on september 27th. house speaker nancy pelosi had agreed to hold a vote on a separate bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill by that date but now some house democrats say the deadline may be missed. a group of progressive democrats are threatening to vote against the smaller bipartisan infrastructure deal if it is not voted on alongside the larger $3.5 trillion plan. last week president biden urged democrats to back his spending plan outlining some of its key components. >> it is investments in
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roads, bridges, highways, clean water in every home and school. universal broadband, quality affordable places to live. we can invest in our people, giving our families a little help, with their toughest expenses like daycare, eldercare care, prescription drugs, paternity leave competing with any country in the world. we can confront this kind -- we can confront this crisis of extreme weather and climate change not only protect our communities but create new opportunities, new industries and new jobs. in short, this is an opportunity to be the nation we know we can be, a nation where all of us can share the benefits of a growing economy in the years ahead. amy: president biden speaking thursday at the white house.
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meanwhile, democrats were dealt a setback sunday when the unelected senate parliamentarian ruled democrats could not include a pathway to citizenship to millions of people as part of the reconciliation bill. we go now to washington where we are joined by ro khanna, democratic congressmember from california. welcome to democracynow. you are part of a group of progressive democrats that say you will vote against the bipartisan bill if it is not voted on alongside this larger sweeping fdr ask $3.5 trillion plan. explain your position. rep. khanna: our position has been consistent for months. we want to pass the full agenda that president biden has set forth. we need investments in roads and bridges and highways and traditional infrastructure, but we also need iestments in modern infrastructure th takes into account the climate.
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you can't just have traditional infrastructure without having a ean energy standard, without investing electric nichols, renewable energy. we need the human investment for childcare care and the expansion of medicare, free community college. this is what president biden campaigned on, and we need to deliver. amy: how would this work? talk about the timeline right now, and maybe what most people don't realize. this $3.5 trillion is not going to be ent this year. rep. khanna: thank you for making that clarification. it is over 10 years. people don't talk about how over those same 10 years, we will spend $7.5 trillion on defense. when talking about defense, they use the one your number but they talk about social investments, they use the 10 year number. this is $350 billion over the year. the other point that is worth making is that progressives have been willing to have a conversation.
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we are willing to engage in a dialogue with the white house, with senator manchin, senator sinema, of how we get this done. the question is are they going to engage in that dialogue? we still haven't heard what senator manchin and ended her cinema are for -- and senator cinema are for -- senator sinema are for. amy: on sunday, you tweeted quote "can anyone explain to me why we are passively giving elizabeth macdonough who has not won a single vote more power than any sitting senator or house member to kill the $15 wage and common sense immigration policy? overrule her." since most people don't know who she is, explain who she is, what she did and what you think has to happen. rep. khanna: i don't have anything personal against elizabeth macdonough, i just don't understand how a senate parliamentarian is
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going to decide whether this country can have a $15 wage or a path to citizenship for those who are undocumented. this is what elections are over. madison and jefferson did not put senate parliamentarian in the constitution. it is a creation of arcane senate rules and the point is that the senate with a 51 vote majority is not bound by the senate parliamentarian's advice on what can and cannot pass as an exception to the filibuster. in the past, the senate parliamentarian has been overruled many times by presidents and vice presidents. i say we should overrule her opinion on this. $15 minimum wage does have a budget impact. making people citizens does have a budget impact. it is mind-boggling that this one person is going to
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decide the fate of millions of people. amy: so what can you do? rep. khanna: the administration can overrule the parliamentarian. it takes 51 senators to say we disagree with the parliamentarian ruling and we have those senators with our 50 members plus vice president harris. a number of us say should have overruled her months ago. it is becoming a pattern of hers, blocking the president's agenda. she doesn't understand constitional law, you can't just repeal something. it is not her place to be having political conversations. nobody elected her. she has no legitimacy. the president and vice president to -- should make it clear that we will overrule her. we understand this will upset norms and quorum --
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norms and decorum. what is more important? norms and decorum or the lives of people who are not making minimum wage? amy: also the engine -- also the issue of who they are beholden to. for example, the well-known ties of senator manchin to the oil, gas and coal industry, and how that can play into his opposing the .5 trillion dl which is about greening america. rep. khanna: i have a decent relationship with senator manchin. i have never questioned his integrity. my point is let's get to the policy, that's have a conversation. if he has a view that we need to have more investment in his state in clean energy so that these jobs can go to west virginia and he can go to his constituents and say this will not cost the economy in west virginia and a wealth that -- and will in
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fact add to it, i am open to having the conversation. many progressives are open to having a conversation with him. we don't know where he and senator sinema are coming from. on voting rights, his plan is not one i agree with, but it is a good one and the progressives can rally around a voting rights question. my question to minute -- to senator manchin and sinema, what are they proposing. that is necessary for us to get to a yes and we made that clear to both the white house and those senators, but they have to come up with the proposal. amy: mansion said he has a concn about the money -- manchin said he has a concern about money and he has received more donations from oil, coal and gas than any other senator. bibby that is what he is concerned about? rep. khanna: i am having an interview where we'll get the fossil fuel companies in
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the first time. we will certainly find out what they've been doing to kill legislation, to have lobbying influence. west virginia has a large fossil fuel industry, so if there are individuals who are supporting him in those industries, that to me in and of itself isn't what is the decisive factor. theecise factor is what is he for? if he says i want these things for west virginia, you will find lot of people in the caucus a willing to do that. we want to have a dialogue with him. i personally have never question his integrity. i want to know how we get to a yes for the president's agenda and it is in all of our interests do that. amy: i also want to ask about these shocking images out of del rio, texas, where border patrol agents on horseback have been filmed chasing, grabbing and whipping haitian asylum-seekers.
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one border agent was heard screaming obscenities at asylum-seekers including children after they attempted to return to the makeshift camp were close to 15,000 people have been staying under the international bridge in del rio for days. your response? rep. khanna: that is not the american way of doing business. we are a nation that respects the rule of law. we respect human rights, and anyone wearing the united states uniform as a border patrol agent needs to live up to those standards, no matter how difficult the circumstances. second, we need to increase in the refugee camp as your earlier show had indicated. we need to increase that cap to 200,000 refugees, given the crisis in afghanistan and in haiti. 200 million people, 200,000
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out of a country of 330 million. we can disperse those refugees across the united states after vetting them. finally, i think we need in country processing. we shouldn't have the surge and rush to the border, that is not helpful for anyone. it is not helpful for the protection of human life. we need to be giving food and water and treating people fairly but we need to say is we need to be processing people before they get to the border and focus on how we deal with this situation in country. amy: the man with the whip on horseback, i want to ask you about the issue of immigration over all. you have the senate parliamentarn saying there cannot be a path to citizenship in the reconciliation bill. you have the situation on the border. president biden while introducing extremely
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sweeping important legislation domestically, when dealing with immigration, has very much followed in the footsteps of president trump, sometimes surpassing him when it comes to expelling people from the united states. there have been hundreds of haitians daily now that are being deported back to haiti, even though the president has ruled that they have pps. what do you think should happen right now? in haiti, you have the president assassinated, you have the earthquake that just ravaged the country. rep. khanna: we first have to increase the refugee cap to 200,000 so that we can take more haitian refugees. we need to be figuring out a way to have people processed before there is a rush to the border. if they are flying people back and then processing
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them they are, that is fine as long as people are being processed to our genuine asylum refugees and the cap is raised. there are certain common sense things we can do. we ought to overrule the parliamentarian and pass a path to citizenship for those undocumented, but even short of that, a bill was passed in the house that was bipartisan and would allow people to come to the united states. it is a solution that will lead to less death and chaos at the border. people can come to the united states, work and then leave. that has not gotten a hearing in the senate. there are things we could do that could make a dent in the problem that we have done in the house and sitting without any action in the senate. amy: i'd like to turn to afghanistan. on friday, the pentagon acknowledged the u.s. drone strike that killed 10 civilians, including 7 children. the last drone strike in the final days of the u.s.
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withdrawal was a "tragic mistake." the pentagon previously assertedhe strikas righteous, preventing an imminent threat by isis-k fighters, but investigations byews outle revealedhe victims were instead an aid worker zemari ahmadi and his , family members. ahmadi's family is demanding a probe into the killing. is is his brother, romal . >> they should except and pay damages. they should come to me a apologize. they should pay blood money. we are in a set. they should evacua us. amy: this is astouing. he drives into their home in kabul at the end of the day. all the children climbed to the car as they did every day, to welcome him home. that is when the u.s. drone struck and killed them.
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lawmakers in washington say they've investigated t deadly strike while activists are calling for an end to u.s. drone warfare. your response? rep. khanna: it is an unspeakable tragedy. we struck a family that was completely innocent, children were killed. there is no spin or sugarcoating this. this was a butyl -- a brutal unspeakable tragedy and it should not even be a debate. we owe compensation, we owe the family evacuation. we o the family an investigation so that we understand why this happened. it also raises broader questions about oversight and transparency on the drone strike program. senator warren and i are working on the issue of what is the standard before a strike is ordered? what is the intelligence that is required? what is the process?
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this is not the first time that civilians have been killed with drone strikes and we need to have far more oversight and standards in conducting over the horizon operations which rely on strikes. amy: president biden has pulled the u.s. out of afghanistan. it is not clear how many mercenaries and intelligence are still there. the call is for an investigation into the last few weeks of the chaos of the withdrawal. are you callg for an investigation of the entire 20 years of the u.s. war? we see this drone strike that killed seven children, because so many reporters are there. it is why the pentagon was forced to admit this because they interviewed the survivors and they had video footage. this is a picture of afghanistan for 20 years in rural areas. rep. khanna: you are absolutely right.
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how many drone strikes have killed innocent civilians over the last 20 years? thnew yorker talks about how it w actual -- ordering the killing of civilians. this was an op-ed of his and he was ordering killing of civilians in his rural communities. we have to ask why is it that for 20 years, general after general came to the u.s. congress saying we were winning when we were not. why is it that we never accepted the taliban surrender offer back in the early 2000s? why were we oblivious to the human rights abuses, not just of the taliban but the afghan army and rural afghanistan? why is it we were not listening to people who have been writing about these issues clearly decades? where is the myopia in our foreign policy establishment
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that these perspectives are not getting through? amy: so you call for an investigation of the entire afghanistan war? rep. khanna: i have, i have called asked illicitly for an investigation of the war and the afghan papers where there is evidence like people like donald rumsfeld blatantly lied to the americaneople, they knew we were losing and they were out there on tv basically lying. we need to instead -- we need to understand the entire context and of course investigate -- i support the president's decision but let's investigate their withdrawal as one chapter in a very tragic 20 year story. amy: do you call for an end to the war in iraq? rep. khanna: i do. i think those troops are sitting targets, that are making us less secure. we need a responsible way of ending that war.
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i would put barbara lee in charge of the investigation. person after person coming on cable television, i said where is barbara lee's voice? she warned us for 20 years that this is what would happen. let's have her be in charge of the investigation. amy: ro khanna, we want to thank you for being with us. you can also go to our website to see our interviews with the new yorker writer and with barbara lee. the sole vote against war for the afghanistan war, 20 years ago. this is democracynow. when we come back, we go back in time 10 years the execution of troy anthony davis. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
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amy: "freedom bound" by emeline michel. as we look back at a major milestone in the fight to abolish the death penalty in the united states. ten years ago today, september 21st, 2011, -- september 21st, 2011, when the state of georgia executed troy anthony davis for a crime many believe he did not commit. he was put to death despite major doubts about evidence used to convict him of killing of police officer mark macphail, including the recantation of seven of the nine non-police witnesses at his trial. they say they were threatened. as the world watched to see
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whether davis's final appeal for a stay of execution would be granted by the u.s. supreme court, democracy now! was the only news outlet tcontinuously broadcast live from the prison grounds in jackson, georgia. during our six-hour special report, we spoke with davis's supporters and family members who held an all-day vigil, then heard from those who witnessed his death by lethal injection, shortly before midnight. soon we'll be joined by two of the people who were with us that night. but first we revisit that day, a decade ago, starting with someone who cannot be with us, troy's oldest sister martina davis-correia, his most vocal and steadfast advocate, who endured a decade-long battle with breast cancer and died at the age of 44, a few weeks after this. martina speaking hours before her brother was executed, when she rose to stand up in her wheelchair. >> my sons and my sisters
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and brothers has been richer for knowing troy. anybody who has met troy has come away with an imprint of him on their soul. i don't have to tell people what my brother is like because once you get to meet him, you can see for yourselves and that is why they tried to keep him away from the press because they don't want you to know troy davis because you wouldn't be able to stand by and allow the state to kill him in your name. i would like to say that i am troy davis. [applause] [chanting "we are troy davis"] >> and i would like to say
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that i have been battling cancer for 10 years. i don't have cancer but i am rethinking some of the effects. several months ago, i was doing fine and after that, i couldn't get up out of the chair. i am here to tell you that i'm going to stand here. [applause and cheering] [chanting "we are troy davis"] >> we will not stand by. we will defy them. amy: that was martina correia standing up in her wheelchair, the older sister of troy davis, his most
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steadfast advocate, speaking 10 years ago today. she would die a few months later from cancer. as the scheduled time of troy davis' execution approached, hundreds of his supporters rallied outside the prison in jackson, georgia. around 7:00 p.m. local time, the crowd erupted into thunderous cheers. for a moment, it appeared that the supreme court had stayed the execution. >> what did troy tell you the last time you saw him? >> we are hearing some kind of cheer that has gone up. [cheering and shouting] amy: but the jubilation was short-lived. after realizing that the execution had just been
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delayed, not stayed, supporters of troy davis waited for news from the supreme court. at about a quarter to 11:00, the crowd went silent when it was learned the high court would not stop the execution. prison officials began the lethal injection process minutes later, at about 10:53. he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. >> the court ordered execution had been carried out in the time of death is 11:0 8:00 p.m. -- 11:08 p.m. >> sharing the news that troy davis was executed. standing with -- >> this has been a travesty of justice and i would like to tell america, you're to be ashamed of yourself. god help america.
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don't come to georgia. don't buy georgia peaches or any item with georgia. god bless america. god bless troy davis. amy: minutes after the state of georgia executed troy davis, a group of reporters who witnessed the execution walked out of the death chamber and onto the prison grounds. they described troy davis's final moments. this is jon lewis, a radio journalist at wsb. >> basically it went very quietly. family and friends sat in the first row, the warden read the order, asked if troy davis had anything to say. davis looked up and made a statement in which he said, he wanted to talk to the victims family and said despite the situation we are in, he was not the one who did it. he said he was not
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personally responsible for what happened that night. he did not have a gun. he said he was sorry for the family's loss but also said he did not take their son, father, brother. he said to them to dig deeper into this case, to find out the truth, he asked his family, his family of friends to keep praying, keep working and keep the faith and then he said to the prison staff, the ones he said who are going to take my life, he said to them, may god have mercy on your souls. his last words to them were, may god bless your souls. the procedure began in about 15 minutes later, he was gone. amy: as troy davis's death was announced, i turned to ben jealous, who was standing with the family of troy davis in the protest pen. ben was then the president of the naacp. >> my heart goes out to the
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davis family. all of our hearts are broken. there was a moment the other day when my staff was in there in the family was in there and a guard leaned over to martina and said he was barely holding it togeth. we have to remember that ese are working-class men and women in a rural area looking for good paying jobs to support their family and this should not be part of it. having to execute somebody, the former warden said stay the execution, the head of the fbi saying stay the execution. it is absolutely inhumane, not just a crime against choi davis, it is a crime against democracy and the men and women who had to holdown his left or right
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leg. amy: ben jealous will join us in just one moment. some of the voices from democracy now!'s special broadcast, september 21st, 2011, ten years ago today, when troy anthony davis was executed by the state of georgi when we come back we'll talk with two people who were there that night and who continue to fight to abolish the death penalty today. in addition to ben jealous, troy's sister, kimberly davis.
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amy: "heaven helus all" by ray charles and gladys knight. as we mark the0th anniversary of the execution of troy davis, a major milestone in the fight to abolish the death penalty in the united states, we are joined by two people who were there a decade ago, september 21st, 2011, on the grounds of the prison where troy davis was executed. they continue to work on the death penalty. in savannah, georgia, kimberly davis is troy davis's sister and an anti-death penalty activist.
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and ben jealous is with us now president of pple for , the american way, former president of the naacp. but first i want to go to troy davis in s own words. this was may 2009. amnesty usa activists had a conference call about troy davis's case. troy's sister, martina correia, patched troy in from death row. >> you know, everything we do today is going to clear the way for a better tomorrow. everything that is coming to a head and people asserting to wake up more and more. kids are getting involved and that is what we need. it really gives me hope that things are going to change, that this is just the beginning of something that is about to blow up to the point where we are going to see, we are going to win this fight. we will continue to hold
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accountable all those that are in charge of this unjust system and together, we can realize that we can be seen and heard and there is nothing we can't change. that is what is most important. we will continue to educate each other and don't give up the fight. amy: that was two years before troy davis was executed ten years ago. we are joined now by troy davis's sister kimberly davis and ben jealous president of people for the american way, former -- american way. in march, virginia became the first southern state to abolish the death penalty, and president biden's justice department has ordered a moratorium on carrying out federal death sentences after a surge in executions under trump. but more than 2,500 people remain on state, federal and military death rows across the united states.
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kimberly davis, i know this is a hard time. it is 10 years later but it brings you right back to that moment that your brother was killed by the state of georgia. even as so many, including the pope, begged for a reprieve, including the republican congress member in the area, including rmer death row prison commissioners. your thoughts today? kimberly: my oughts today, just looking back over the 10 years. we've come a long way. like troy said, this didn't start with him and it will come after him and wanted us to continue to fight. he says with the injustice, we need to stand up and make
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sure our voices are heard. we need to stand up against injustice. there is so much we n see on the media and in th news but one thing we know, we can stand -- we will demolish the death penalty one state at a time. we were thinki back over the past year on how we have been able to just get out and mobilize. one thing to mobilize but another thing to organize. wi my brothers case, we had so many people in sony different countries, so any different- in so many different countries, so many different places to prove my brother was innocent. thousands of found -- thousands and thousands of petitions that were signed, people believed my brother was innocent and it makes me
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feel good. my babsister made a comment, she said that the world today, they are still talking about troy anthony davis so we know that troy davis did make a mark the world and we areontinuing to make that mk and we want that mark to stand, to stick, want to continue to fight until we demolish the death penalty one state at a time. amy: ben jealous, your thoughts as we talked to you on the grounds of the death row prison -- 10 years after talking on the grounds of the death row prison. clarence thomas, who hails from pinpoint georgia, a community founded by freed slaves. there was a moment ere it was believed that once again, after three other death warrants were vacated, the fourth one would be, but that was not the case.
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as you reflect back now, your thoughts and where the movement is today? ben: thank you, and my connection is breaking up so i apologize. i was tearing up earlier. it was painful to be brought back to that moment. troy was innocent, he is innocent. the deep irony is that the state of georgia has no interest in finding the killer for the officer. that is perhaps the greatest tragedy. they killed in an instant man and they really don't kill -- they really don't care to find the killer of a police officer that night. the movement has to keep pushing forward with abolishing the death penalty. virginia was a huge victory. it would not be possible for this campaign. connecticut and maryland. it would not be possible
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without troy's leadership. i remember standing with troy and explaining everything we were doing to make sure we had the votes and we did have the votes and the chairman switched his vote to make sure the governor got his execution. troy looked at me and said that's good, this is georgia. if georgia wants to kill me, they will. we also have to make sure the world remembers my name, that they understand what is happening here. that is where the #toomuchdo ubt came from. about a month after the execution, public support for the death penalty fell to an all-time low and the gallup organization that does the pulling credited that campaign -- does the polling credited that campaign.
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young people were able to shift public opinion with that hashtag activism. it absolutely could -- played a role in creating the opportunity where we could abolish the death penalty in multiple states. we finally abolish it in 26 states, we will have a majority of states opposed and we will be able to go to the supreme court as we had with troy and get the supreme court to abolish it in its entirety, having met the standard for both cruel and unusual punishment. that is where the movement has to go. amy: that is extremely significant. how you can do this at the supreme court given who is on it. ben: the last part is a bit harder. donald trump has packed the supreme court but the supreme court has been
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packed before. one of those principles is the eighth amendment to the constitution which prevents cruel and unusual punishment. the standard it is based on, british, law is cruel or unusual. in america, it is and, so it must be both. the supreme court has long held that the death penalty is cruel by its nature. executing a human being is cruel. unusual as a standard is something a majority of states opposed which means you have to get t26 states. this is the standard we used to abolish the juvenile death penalty. our nation was only one of 10 on earth that was still sentencing children to death. we were able to abolish it because we got more than 26 states to abolish the juvenile death penalty and then the supreme court said
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yes, we've long held that that -- that the death penalty was cruel for juveniles and we will abolish it. they did the same thing for people with low iqs, people he -- people the court refers to as mentally retarded. the court has held that the death penalty itself is cruel and we have to get to a majority of states and we are on our way. virginia has a terrible history when it comes to the death penalty. multiple innocent people executed in that state, a state that even made it possible at one point to literally charge, arrest, convict, sentence and execute somebody all in one day. when a state like that abolishes the death penalty, you know it's days our numbers as a wholand we are very close. amy: why wasn't troy davis's execution extended?
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the investigation pointed to another man who walked into a police station that night with a lawyer and pointed the finger at troy davis, who many say did not have a gun that night that the off-duty police officer was killed. ben: that is the thing. that man appears to be a police informant. it is like catch and release. every time he's been in jail, they let him go. he has a rap sheet longer than the office i'm sitting in right now and it appears that he is the killer in this case, absolutely. it is mind blowing, absolutely mind blowing to look at the two men come our member that troy was put on death row by nine eyewitnesses, seven of them recanted. the only two that wouldn't were the informant and a woman who claimed she recognized troy from over 100 yards away on a moonless
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night when he was standing under a tree with a group of men across a jury dark long distance and she said without a doubt. meanwhile six more eyewitnesses came forward and said it was not troy. you now have 13 people including seven who were among the nine that put him on death row saying that troy is not the one. those seven saying they had lied, that is why there was too much doubt. it is clear that the killer is out there and it is unclear why the police apparently have protected that man for decades. amy: kimberly davis, georgia still has the death penalty. what message do you have for those on death row and the people of georgia as virginia just became the first state the south to get rid of the death penalty? kimberly: we want the people
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in georgia to know tt we are still on the battlefield, fighting for them, and we will continue to fight for them to get this deathenalty abolished. a couple people on -- on death row still reach out to the family and that is something they don't get. they ask us for prayer and to continue standing for them and to feed the voice -- be the voice of the voiceless. that ishat martina said, she w the voice of the voiceless, and that is what we will continue to do. amy: i want to thank you so much for being with us. we've been kimberly davis, speaking with kimberly davis, troy davis's sister and anti-death penalty activist. ben jealous, president of people for the american way, former president of the naacp. tonight, i'll be moderating a live-streamed event at 8:00 to reflect on the movement troy davis helped build, with his sister, kimberly davis and his
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de'jaun davis correia, troy nephew de'jaun davis correia, troy, -- this is democracy now,, the quarantine report, i'm amy goodman. democracy now! is produced with renee feltz, mike burke, deena guzder, messiah rhodes, nermeen shaikh, maria taracena, tami 8
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hello there and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobyashi in new york. the head of the united nations has used the world's largest diplomatic gathering to sound an alarm. antonio guterres lectured leaders at the u.n. general assembly about their responses to the pandemic and climate change. he says the world is on the edge of an abyss and people need to wake up. >> yet instead of humility in th


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