tv Democracy Now LINKTV October 26, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT
10/26/21 10/26/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> i have no doubt, these are the opening chapters. it prioritizes and amplifies divisive polarizing extreme content and it concentrates it. amy: facebook whistleblower frances haugen testifies before the british parliament as
journalists dissect thousands of internal company documents she leaked showing how facebook prioritizes profits over safety. we will get the latest. to be good to sudan where at least 10 protesters have been shot deadollowing a military coup. >> this is a full-fledged co up. the government should be added to civilians. you should free those you detained most of general frances haugen -- hamdok should submit his resignation. amy: the we look at the death of cinematographer halyna hutchins in new mexico, drawing attention to overall safety net from industry. some of the unionized crew had walked off the set earlier in the day to prote working conditions. >> one of the underlying factors was the crew walk off. why did they walk off?
it takes a lot for a film crew to leap the director of photography. amy: we will speak with the former head of a local. all of that in more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in sudan, thousands of protesters have poured into the streets for a second straight day after military ruler general abdel fattah burhan declared a state of emergency, arresting sudan's prime minister, most of his cabinet, and civilian members of a governing council. the coup comes two years after mass protests toppled sudan's longtime leader omar al-bashir. news outlets are reporting at least 10 protesters have been shot dead during today's protests demanding an end to military rule. >> they fired stan grenades, then they fired live ammunition. two people died.
i saw them with my own eyes. they came back twice and killed one more. it is the third one i saw. amy:: for the immediate release of the prime minister and other detainees. in washington, state department spokesperson ned price said the u.s. would suspend a $700 million emergency aid package for sudan. the coup occurred just a day after thu.s. speal envoy for the horn of africa, jeffrey feltman, was in khartoum where he met with both the head of sudan's military and the now detained sudanese prime minist. we'll have more on the coup in sudan later in the broadcast. moderna says that two, smaller-sized doses of its covid-19 produced a powerful immune response in kids enrolled in clinical trial and those as young as six years old. moderna hasn't yet publicly released its data and the results are not yet peer
reviewed. today, an fda advisory committee meets to review pfizer's application for emergency use of its covid vaccine for u.s. children aged five to 11. final approval from the cdc could come as soon as next week. the american academy of pediatrics reports about a quarter of all covid-19 cases over the last week were among children, with over 118,000 infections in the united states. the biden administration says it soon will end a travel ban on international travelers from 33 countries on november 8. travelers 18 and older will have to show proof of vaccination or -- vaccination in the u.s.. tell them will need a negative test result. new york city's largest police union on monday asked a judge to suspend mayor bill de blasio's vaccine mandate for municipal employees, arguing officers should have broader rights to
claim a religious exemption. this follows an offer by florida republican governor ron desantis to hire police officers who were fired from their jobs in other states for refusing to get vaccinated. desantis is offering officers $5000 bonuses to relocate to florida. the united nations said monday greenhouse gas levels hit a record high in 2020, with clear signs that nations are far off track from the paris climate agreement's goal of limiting global heating to 1.5 degrees celsius. this is petteri taalas, head of the world meteorological organization. >> we have again broken records greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide. at the moment we are heading toward 2.5 degrees warming rather than 1.5 degrees. amy: a new report finds wealthy
nations are falling well short their pledge to mobilize $100 billion a year to help poorer nations adapt to the climate crisis. in south sudan, over 700,000 people have been affected by torrential rains, which brought the region the worst flooding it's seen in over0 years. a representative for the united nations high commissioner for human rights said climate change is to blame. >> climate change does not have to lead to despair because there are solutions including good planning. what we would like to do, what we must you come to of the people in the government south sudan. amy: in southern italy, at least one person was killed monday after a rare mediterranean hurricane slammed into sicily. the storm also brought severe flooding to algeria and tunisia. just two months ago, sicily recorded the highest temperature ever observed in europe, at nearly 120 degrees fahrenheit.
here in the united states, record-setting rainfall brought october flooding to central and northern california, with sacramento and san francisco logging their wettest october days on record. the heavy rains will likely end fire season for much of california but produced dangerous mudslides in recently-burned areas. this comes as a severe weather pattern known as a bomb-cyclone will bring excessive rainfall to parts of the northeastern u.s., with new york city set to receive a month's worth of rain in less than 48 hours. in related news, at least 33 climate justice advocates were arrested monday after blocking two of new york city's main highways during morning rush hour. the act of civil disobedience called on president biden to push for climate crisis provisions in the build back better act. in spain, climate justice activists with extinction rebellion also held a protest monday in central madrid demanding world leaders enact stronger action against the
climate crisis. protesters blocked traffic and chained themselves to barrels. >> regional gas emissions are already causing climate catastrophes all over the planet. it is too late. if we don't join the action, we will not arrive in time to save the planet. amy: in the netherlands, dutch pension fund giant abp says it will divest more than $17 billion in assets from fossil fuel companies ahead of the cop26 u.n. climate summit, which opens next week in glasgow. abp said as recently as june that it would keep its fossil fuel investments but reversed course amid widespread protests and legal challenges. in britain, facebook whistleblower frances haugen testified before the british parliament for more than two hours monday, providing more damning evidence on how the social media giant prioritized profitability while allowing misinformation and violent and hateful content to spread on its
platform. haugen's testimony came as the united kingdom and the european union are both expected to introduce new digital and consumer protection measures. >> mark zuckerberg has unilateral control over 3 billion people, right? there is no will at the top to make sure the systems are right in a safeway. i think until bring in counterweight, things will be operated in the shareholders interests and not the public interest. amy: frances haugen turned over thousands of pages of internal facebook documents to u.s. regulators, which are now the basis of a damning series of reports called "the facebook papers" that are being published this week. we'll have more on those revelations after headlines. in guatemala, indigenous leaders across the country are denouncing the government's enactment of a month-long 12-hour curfew in the northern coastal region of izabal in retaliation for protests against a nickel mining project.
some 500 soldiers have also been applied to the region. indigenous communities in the region say they were never consulted on plans of the mining project, led by the swiss-based solway investment group. in recent days, guatemalan police and military have violently repressed peaceful protests led by maya q'eqchi' indigenous communities, who say the mine would have catastrophic impacts on the land, water and people. amnesty international is closing its hong kong office by the end of the month, citing fears for the safety of staff working under a sweeping national security law imposed by chinese authorities in beijing. amnesty's regional headquarters will close before year's end. in a statement, amnesty international said hong kong's national security law has "made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in hong kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government." turkish president erdogan has reversed plans to order the expulsion of 10 foreign ambassadors from nato allies. the diplomatic route again after diplomats from the u.s. and its
allies issued a joint statement urging the release of turkish political prisoner. back in the united states new , a safety report released by lyft is shedding light on an increasing number of sexual assaults during rides in recent years. over 4000 reports of sexual violence were made from 2017 to 2019. at least 360 were reports of rape. the report also listed 10 deaths from physical assaults from 2017 to 2019. it's been three years since lyft first pledged to disclose the information, along with its rival uber, as both companies have come under fire over safety issues and sexual safety problems. in virginia, jury selection has begun in a federal civil trial that charges the organizers of the deadly, white supremacist "unite the right" rally in 2017 with an unlawful conspiracy to commit violent acts. the lawsuit cites an 1871 law known as the ku klux klan act,
which allows private citizens to sue other citizens for civil rights violations. and the white house has rejected former president trump's latest claims of executive privilege as he attempts to block the handing over of documents requested by the congressional committee investigating the january 6 insurrection at the capitol. trump has already filed a lawsuit to stop the national archives from releasing documents to congress as part of the probe. the national archives is set to begin turning other records to the u.s. house of representatives next month unless trump wins a court order to block the request. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: thousands of pages of
internal documents leaked by former facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower frances haugen are now the basis of a damning series of reports called "the facebook papers" being published this week. they show how the company's choices prioritize profits over safety and how it tried to hide its own research from investors and the public. a news story published this morning by the associated press finds the facebook documents show the platform ignored some of its own researcher suggestions for addressing vaccine this information. facebook chief executive mark zuckerberg pushed back monday during an earnings call with investors, calling the reports published "coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company." but fallout from "the facebook papers" continues to generate political support for increased regulation. after testifying before congress earlier this month, on monday, haugen testified for more than two hours before the british parliament as the united kingdom
and the european union are both planning to introduce new digital and consumer protection measures. she spoke about the social harm generated when facebook's platform is used to spread hate speech and incite violence without adequate content moderation in local languages, such as in ethiopia, which is now engulfed by a civil war. >> i think it is a grave danger to democracy and societies around the world. to get a core part of why i came forth was i looked at the consequences of choices facebook was making and i look at things like the global south and i believe situations like ethiopia are just part of the opening chapters of a novel that will be perfect to read. -- horrific to read. not just for the global south but our own societies like i said, when -- it doesn't make it harder for us -- [indiscernible]
we have a slight window of time to regain people control over ai. we have to take advantage of this moment. amy: frances haugen's testimony comes as news outlet the verge reports facebook plans to change its company name this week to reflect its transition from a social media company to being a "metaverse company." facebook has already announced plans to hire thousands of engineers to work in europe on the metaverse. in the coming weeks, haugen is scheduled to meet with officials in fnce, germany, and the european union. for more, we are joined by ramesh srinivasan, professor of information studies at the university of california los angeles, or ucla, where he also directs the digital cultures lab. welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with as, professor. can you talk about the significance of what has been released so far in the facebook papers? >> i think it is gre to be with you and great to join you
this morning. i think what frces haugen has done is blow the whistle on facebook's complicity and its internal knowledge of a number of problematic issues that many of us were alleging that they were engaging with for several years. what facebook has essentially done and she has exposed that they were aware of is play with our emotion, play with our psychology, play with our anxieties. those are the raw material that fuels facebook's attempts to be additional empire. and more generally, this is an example of how this new form of digital capitalism that i believe facebook is trailblazing is one that is playing with our intimate motions on every single level. these revelatations are extremey important. right now the timing is very, very important for actions to be
taken to rein in facebook but also more generally understand that this is the general face at big tech we are more and more exposed. juan: professor, when frances haugenalks aut greater people control over ai, what does that mean? what would that look like? especially in view of the other issue she raised, which is the disparate impact of the social media platforms on the global south, unless developed countries were facebook course far less media resources into the content? >> first the point about people's relationship to ai, we can talk about ai stays some sort ofeviathan but what we're really talking about when we are discussing ai are the mechanisms by which various types of technology companies, which are
the wealthiest companies in the history of the world, all of which are levagedn our lives, our public lives, our lives as citizens, even the internet we pay for, is basically the mechanism by which they're constantly surveilling us, transacting our attention and data, and playing with our psychological systems -- our psychology, actually, in multiple ways. they are getting us into flight or fight mode to trigger our attention and arousal to keep us locked in and therefore manipulate us. putting us into groups that are hateful and divisive. we saw that with january 6, for example. the means by which they're able to do that is by playing with our emotion, taking us to these groups so we can recognize falsely that we are not alone and having particular viewpoints, that there are others with more hard-core viewpoints. now if you look at those mechanisms of manipulation,
which are actuly quite common across big tech but very specifically egregious in the case that facebook, now let's look at that when it comes to the global south. the so-called global south, the african continent, south america, south asia, southeast asia, and so on, represent the vast majority of facebook users because here we are talking about users not just a facebook the technology but also platforms like whatsapp and instagram as well. in many of these countries, there is not necessarily distraught independent media are strong sort of journalistic press to rebut or to even provide some sort of counter visibility to all the hate and lies that facebook prioritizes. frances haugen has confirmed that facebook algorithms prioritizes divisive, polarizing, and hateful content because of algorithmic and computational prediction that it
will capture our attention. he will lock in our sympathetic nervous system. so we look at these other countries in the world and we can see consistently, including right now at this very moment when it comes to the two great people of ethiopia, how hateful content is being prioritized facebook algorithms work well with tim mcgraw -- work well with demagogue leaders. of minorities, indigenous people, muslims, someone. so this has rely for effect in terms of fomenting actual violence against people who are the most vulnerable in our world. this represents a profound not negligence by facebook, but they recognize they can get away with it. basically, let the game play out
in the countries that represent the vast majority of facebook users. juan: what is the impact all of this on the democratic process? in reality, are we facing the possibility that through algorithms of companies like facebook we are actually, clearly subverting the very process of people being able to democratically choose leadership and the government policies as a result of them being inundated with misinformation and hate? >> that is absolutely. imagine if billions of us, and we are talking about approximate 3.5 billion people around the world with some access and engagement with facebook technologies, recognizing in many parts of the world facebook is "the" internet and whatsapp
is "the" cell phone network. that means returning to facebook to be our media company, our gateway to the world, and to be our space of democratic communication when it is anything but that. imagine 3.5 billion people all with their own screens that are actually unlocking them into a world that is not in the public sphere in any sense at all but actually based upon polarization, amplification of hate, and more than anything, the sweet spot, the oil of the new economy which is people's addiction and their attention. there's nothing that gets our attention more than being put into fight or flight -- getting outraged, getting angry, getting agonized. that is what facebook is doing. we are all been presented with different realies algorithmically on our screens and those realities a not based on open sets of dialogue or compassion or tolerance, but based on algorithmic extremism,
based on all of this data being gathered about us -- none of which we have any clue about. amy: let's talk about examples. you're talking about the privatization of the global comments because this is were so many people, even with the digital divide, communicate. the u.s. is 9% of the global population of facebook come the global consumers. 90% are outside the u.s. but 90% of the protections or 90% of the resources going into dealing with the hate are in united states, facebook is putting in the united states. and even here, look at what happened. did it facebook set of a young woman who said they supported trump step immediately, and this is a fictional person, facebook saw she was inundated with requests to join qanon, with
hate, and then we see what happened on january 6. this is what facebook is poured in all of the so-called protections. talk about its relation to january 6 and then talk globally where there is putting nothing in other languages -- for example, in vietnam. >> that is such an important example, amy. thank you for bringing itup. bacally our mechanism of engaging with the wider world even in our country, even here in the united dates, are all based upon routing us down these algorithmic opaque rabbit holes that get us more and more extreme. where content that is more extreme is often suggested to us and often as you alluded to through the medium of a facebook group. so any sort of group that has sort of hateful speech associated with it, that
expresses outrage that will activate our emotions -- because those are the raw materials of digital capitalism. her emotions and our anxieties and our feelings. that is exactly where they want to take us. that basically suggests to us that you're not alone, there are other people with these points not necessarily just like your own, but even more amplified, more radical. that ends up as we saw generating great amounts of violence and this brutal insurrection. facebook likes to play they're just supporting free speech, that there are some bad actors on their platform when impact their platform designed for bad actors to leverage their platform because they have a highly symbiotic relationship as we have spoken about in the past on democracy now!, the former president was perfectly symbiotic in his relationship with facebook. they were good billet --
bedfellows. we see that with demagogue's around the world. we want to talk about the global south, we can recognize facebook and say, hey, we have differently which is on our platform. sure, we are talking to a few people in countries like ethiopia, myanmar, never mind there were basically responsible in many ways of fomenting genocide against the rohingya. we are talking to people in the modi government in india who has said many demagogue things against muslim minorities and th "facebook papers" have revealed this that frances haugen brought out. this works well for them. in the u.s. where we have strong-ish independent media thanks to democracy now!, we were able to challenge facebook. at another countries in the world, that does not exist to the same extent and facebook and basically say, hey, we can just leverage the lies come the daily lives 24/7, threaded 65 of
billions of you and basically do whatever we want. they don't really have to do much about it. they don't have to take any real steps to resolve the harms their causing too many people around the wod. juan: professor, you mentioned india. the second largest population in the world. and "the facebook papers" revealed facebook, some of the managers had done a test of an average yog adult in india who became quickly flooded with hindu nationalist propaganda and anti-muslim hate. one of the staffers who was monitoring this account said come up i have seen more images of dead people in the past three weeks than i have seen in my entire life total. could you talk about the impact of the lack of accountability of facebook in terms of what it's platfo is doing in aountry like india? >> that hits home personally for
me a summit of south indian dissent -- someone of south indian dissent. evan parts of groups with friends and relatives in india that tend to spiral quickly from -- a muslim minority or indigenous minority and then quicklymplifying. innocence the world's largest democracy, india, we see major threats to that democracy aligned with the hindu nationalist government and also the growth of hindu nationalism which vilifies and goes after the muslim minority, which is just absurd and makes my stomach turn. this is what you laid out, how the facebook playbook works. you create an account, browse around -- we don't really browse
anymore these days, but you sort of befriend various people, look at various pages, and you quickly suggested content that takes you down extremist rabbit holes because we all know, sadly, when we see pictures of dead peopl will we see car crashes, fires, we pay attention because it activates are sympathetic nervous system. facebook recognizes the easst way it can lock people in, monetize and manipulate them by feeding them that type of content. amy: we just have 30 seconds, but i want to ask you about you have frances haugen testify before the british parliament going through europe, very significant because they're much more likely to regulate -- which can be a model for the united states. talk about the significance of this. >> i think it is fantastic the european union and the u.k. want to take aggressive measures. in the u.s., we have section 230, protecting some of the liability of companies like facebook from spreading
misinformation and hate. we need to shift to think about our right framework. what are the rights we have as people come citizens compass peoples who are part of a democracy in a digital world? we need to deal with the algorithms associated with facebook. there should be on and oversights and exposure. more than anything, people need their privacy to be protected because we know again and again, vulnerable people get harmed. real violee occurs against violent people and splitters our society if we don't do anything. amy: should facebook or meta simply be broken up like big oil? >> i think we may want to consider facebook as a public utility and we should regulated accordingly. more than anything, we need to force them to give up power input power in the hands of independent journalists, people in the human rights space. more than anything, treat all of us who they are using constantly
as people who have sovereignty and rights. they owe us true disclosure around what they know about us and we should be opted out of surveillance capitalism. amy:amesh srinivasan, thank you for being with us university , of california los angeles, or ucla, where he also directs the digital cultures lab. author of "beyond the valley: how innovators around the world are overcoming inequality and creating the technologies of tomorrow." when we come back, we go to sudan where at least 10 protesters have been shot dead along a military coup. back in 30 seconds. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "rennat" by alsarah & the nubatones. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a warning to our audience, the segment contains graphic real estate violence as we turn to sudan where protesters are back in the streets again today following monday's military coup. news outlets are reporting at least 10 protesters have been shot dead since the military placed prime minister abdalla hamdok under house arrest and detained most of his cabinet . a number of protest leaders have also been arrested. sudan's military ruler gen abdel fattah burhan declared a state of emergency and dissolved a joint military-civilian governing council meant to transition sudan to civilian rule. the coup comes two years after mass protests toppled sudan's longtime leader omar al-bair. protesters in kartoum demanded an end to military rule.
>> this is a full-fledged co up. we have to go back to the constitutional government. the government should be handed to civilians and free those who were detained and bring them back to their positions. general abdel fattah burhan should submit his resignation. amy: testers accused the military a firing live ammunition and demonstrators on monday. >> they fired stan grenades and then like a munition. two people died. i saw them with my own eyes. then they came back twice and killed one more. this is the third one i saw. amy: on u.n. secretary general monday, antónio guterres has condemned the mitary coup and called for the immediate release of sudan's prime minister and other detainees. the united states has suspended a $700 million emergency aid package for sudan. the coup occurred just a day after the u.s. special envoy for
the horn of africa, jeffrey feltman, was in khartoum where he met with both the head of sudan's military and the now detained sudanese prime minister. we are joined by isma'il kushkush, in washington, d.c. he is a former "new york times" reporter who was based in east africa. he lived in khartoum for eight years. we go first to sudan to speak with walaa salah, human rights lawyer and activist based in khartoum. can you tell us what is happening on the ground? can you tell us what is happening on the ground in khartoum now? we understand at least 10 people have been killed by the military. can you hear me? ok, instead -- can you hear me?
>> yes. amy: it sounds like walaa salah is speaking to someone else right now. walaa, can you hear me? why don't we go to her describing what is happening. we were not sure if we could reach her in khartoum, so just before the broadcast, we asked walaa salah to describe what is happening over the last day. >> by 6:30 a.m., i think, i was on the street and see what was going on. there were just people coming out of their houses, chanting. general devastation and anger in the faces of everyone i saw on the street.
rejection of the coup. the protests grew bigger around 12:00, just before the statement by general burhan. the numbers grew and it became clear to everyone this is a war no one wanted. i still wonder who the military council, who are they going to rule because as far as i know walking around khartoum and seeing other cities in the country, no one is in support of this coup. no one is in support of this move. almost everyone had an issue with the government, but it is never been the alternative to have a military role --rule.
people wanted a different government with different policies. these are not military because military rule is a regression post of the past three years, very dynamic in the country where people took the streets more than they went to school and the university. it became very clear there are ways to connect within the grassroots of the country. people, citizens are communicating with each other. the internet is out. phone connection is very poor. i think one network is working. bustill, peoe are going door-to-door talking to each other, encouraging each other to take to the streets. what is going on in the city now that i must every road and allie is blocked by barricade.
very few cars are able to navigate. mostly the movement is limited to the same neighborhood. bridges are closed. the borders between different cities are closed, so one cannot travel from artoum to other city even if they don't need to cross a grade. so every city is totally isolated. this is clearly ammo to isolate citizens -- a move to isolate citizens. remember, we did not have social media between december and april -- december 2018 to april 2019 and we do not have internet for over the weeks after that massacre in june 2020 -- 2019.
people have the skills of communication beyond technology. amy: that is walaa salah, human rights lawyer in khartoum scribing what is taking place there. isma'il kushkush is an independent sudanese-american base in khartoum now in washington, d.c. can you take it that from what walaa described and explained to the global audience exactly what has happened here? >> in 2018, 2019, brian dunn the government -- brought down the government. that was followed in agreement between civilian forces in the military through powerharing agreement that wou last until 2023. the transfer of power to
civilian government and election. the partnership between civilian forces in the military has been rocky with new policies, with pandemic, the jetta met criticism of the legitimate criticism of the transfer, including on that civilian site. one question that has been on the minds since day one is will sudan be able to transfer into democracy. even with a similar uprisings in the region, that has been a great concern for many sudanese. we saw in the past weeks, could tim's, declared coup attempts. illiterate takeover -- we saw much larger [indiscernible]
most sudanese would reject -- are rejecting a return of the military, and that is what we're are seeing right now. juan: could you talk about the role of the other regional powers in terms of their relationship with the sudanese military? i am thinking specifically of egypt or the uae or saudi arabia. obviously, united states openly so far has condemned this coup, but what is the role of these more local regional powers? >> up to now, we have not seen any concrete evidence of a direct involvement of any of these regional powers. given the relationship that we know that the military has with
the military in egypt, with the rapid support forces -- which is a militia that turned into -- was official lysed and became part of the military council -- its relationship with united arab emirates, saudi arabia, involvement in the war in yemen, given the relation, the suspicion -- legitimate questions, they directly involved in supporting this military takeover? the military takeover comes a day after you special envoy met with members of the transitional government, both civilian and military. for the military to discount its meeting with you a special envoy and whatever assistance, whatever promises -- again, this
is the situation that perhaps it has other means for diplomatic and financial support. amy: can you talk more about that? can you talk about its relationship with the uae, sadi arabia, with russia? >> we do knowhat rapid support forces has been involved in the war in yemen and h a strong relationip with the united arab emirates. the rapid support forces is basically a militia that comes out of the militia that fought nato for that is responsible -- fought in darfur that became part of the sudanese military apparatus and was basically dded fight to yemen. the ofcial army historically
has had strong relationships [indiscernible] again, given the counterrevolution's that occurred in the region, these are questions that people are raising. are the governments involved in supporting this military takeover? we have not seen any direct links or official statements on this, but i think these are legitimate questions. juan: can you talk about the civilian prime minister hamdok who was removed and arrested because he refused to support the coup? does he have any popular backing at all or is it just the population was to maintain a civilian government even though they may have criticisms of the existing officials of that government? >> hamdok is a former u.n. civil
servant. had some support. there are critiques of his performance during this transitional period that his government, but i think at heart, most sudanese, after the 2019 revolution, is to see a transfer into a civilian government. keep in mind come after 30 years of authoritarian rule by omar al-bashir, a glimpse of hope of his expertise against -- not to discount the critique people had of his government, but the idea that we are setting back after months of protests that brought
down 30 years o authoritarian rule, that is something that the most sudanese -- amy: we see army general abdel fattah burhan spoke and the alsup prime minister is being held "at my residence for his own safety." if you can tell us who burhan is, if he is significant as an individual and what his ties personally might be? >> he has been part of the military apparatus for some time . he had been involved in the war in darfur. he was part of the militar that -- with the bringing down of bashir in 2019. i think it is important to understand the situati of the military apparatus itself. you have the army, the official
army. any also have the rapid support forces. rapid support forces was a militia that was made official. these are two components of the military apparatus, not necessarily like each other, but are in partnership and come together to be part of the living sovereignty cnsel. a delicate dance, you would say. the army and the rapid support forces -- with the changing of the government [indiscernible]
he will be interesting to see how this relationship is out. amy: thank you for being with us -- last question? juan: in terms of the u.s. role, what do you see the state department suspend its aid to sudan, what do you -- what you recommend u.s. government do miss situation? >> the most important thing is to keep eyes on sudan. new cycles, attentionon might be moved to somewhere else. sedans revolution of 2019 brought hope to the region. it was celebrad as one othe greatest -- people power in recent times. it is important to pay attention to what is happening in sudan. i do think the biden administration is paying more
attention or the democratization in sudan -- if this were the trump administration, we would see something completely different. keep an eye's on sudan democracynow.org [indiscernible] amy: isma'il kushkush is an independent sudanese-american journalist lived in khartoum for years, now based in d.c.. coming up come the tragic shooting death of some of talk for -- cinematographer halyna hutchins. we will talk with the former head of the union local. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "diamonds & rust" by joan baez. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we look at the tragic shooting death of cinematographer halyna hutchins during the filming of "rust" last thursday in new mexico. it is calling attention to overall safety. yahoo! news is reporting the gun that killed halyna have been used by crewmembers just hours beforehand for live ammunition target practice by some members of the crew who use the prop
guns, putting the gun that killed her come to shoot at beer cans. the film lead actor and producer alec baldwin later shot the revolver after he was reportedly handed it by the first assistant director david hall's who told him it was a "cold gun" meaning it was not loaded with live ammunition. a search warrant said baldwin was for person -- reportedly rehearsing a scene and pointing the revolver for the camera lens when it hit halyna hutchins and director joel souza. meanwhile, prop maker maggie goal, member of iatse, told cnn she had worked with the assistant director halls in 2019 and said he failed to hold safety meetings or follow protocol when it came to announcing the presence of firearms onset. cnn also reported he was fired in 2019 from his position assistant director after a gun
on -- and especially discharged and injured a crew member. all that has happened after some of the unionized bloodline crewmembers walked off the scene earlier on the day halyna was kilter protester housing, payment, and working conditions. a source told yahoo! news and walk out would usually shut down the films production pride couple of days but new mexico's a right to work state the producers were able to hire nonunion replacements and continue working on the film. a couple hours later, halyna was killed. for, we're joined by dutch merrick, past president of iatse local 44 hollywood craftspersons. he has been a prop master and armorer for over 25 years. welcome to democracy now! thank you for getting in touch with us. you are any armorer and you can explain what that is and explain what you understand happened on
the set, going in the context of these negotiations that iatse has nationwide, 60,000 members, partly around safety issues just like this. >> thank you so much for having me. this is one symptom of an existential in hollywood. we handle firearms every single day. i work on shows were we have machine guns firing, 10, 20 people firing machine guns at once and it happened safely. we million -- we fire millions of safety rounds. the armor handles the guns in a locked up safe, taken to the set, very careful about inspecting them at all times. the only load them just before we go and only the armoratches them in this instance come the first assistant george was handling the gun, trying to figure out why that happened, and then other guns were clearly
mishandled and allowed use for actual gunfire shooting, which i've never heard of that in my 25 years in business. it is unconscionable he would take your movie guns and put live ammo in them ever. the crew -- the camera crew walked off the morning of because the conditions had become so deplorable. they had gone three weeks without a paycheck. they were having to work 14 plus hours a day with inadequate turnaround to get home. when i started in the business 25 years ago, i was putting in 12 hour days knowing i was cutting my teeth in the business and it would get better, but it has only gotten worse. our workers routinely face 16 plus hour days, putting it 80 to 100 hour weeks. the producer only have to pay a minor penalty if they want to work the crew to lunch. the penalty has not risen in ages. often shows now come the growing hunger for entertainment and
increasing quality produced in a shorter time, they're pushing r workers to work straight through lunch work intern days and pay them a minor penalty and it is grinding our workers to the bone. this contract has come up, every worker of talk to with few exceptions, are not happy. juan: i want to ask you about that, the impact of the growth of streaming videos, of companies like netflix and hulu and apple, what is been the impact on the working conditions as result of basically this vast commodification of more and more video production? >> the hunger -- the pandemic put into high release that people -- they don't wait for 7:00 on thursday night to see seinfeld once a week, they get a show they like and binge watch 13 episodes in a sitting. there is a voracious
appetite that netflix and who and others are feeding. the competition is more fierce than ever. we have trouble finding crew. when netflix was buying existing content and recycling old series, that was one thing. but now they're creating brand-new content we are grateful for the work but we are , frankly, getting worked adept to just meet the demands. amy: -- juan: this issue of alec baldwin firing the gun -- a lot of the evidence has been away from baldwin, but i think 101 of gun use is even if you believe a gun is not loaded, you don't pointed in the direction of life people. could you talk about that? what are the rules of using guns for actors as well as other crewmembers? >> one of my jobs as any armorer
is when i hand an actor a gun, i arrange with that actor where they're going to point it. the three basic rules of gun safety we teach our always keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, pointed in as a direction and never at a person, and always treat the gun as if it is loaded. from what i've heard the armorer was not present during the sequence. from what i understand, they're cong back from lunch. there may have been a rush to get back to rehearsing. pretty drying day having much of the crew walk off. likely mayhem. alec baldwin, i can't speak to what was going on with him, but i will offer this, the job of the prop person and the customers and everybody is to create a safe space where the actor can just focus on their role in getting into that space. we sort of keep them in an envelope, a bubble. i think any actor generally learns to grow trust.
i am guessing he got into a rhythm. he may not have noticed there was no armorer. it is hard for me to speak to exact would happen, but easy to imagine he had fallen to a level of trust with the crew around him and that first assistant director did a majorno--no and grabbed a got of the cart and handed it to him. one, as the bottom line safety officer for the entire production. and he is the one trying to get things done on schedule and get the ball moving. amy: halyna hutchins, who was killed, when the crew walked off that morning, said she felt like she was losing her best friends. they certainly lost their best friend. halyna is the mother of a 10-year-old and leaves a husband as well. do you think the set should have shut down when these workers walked off? do you think this could affect the final negotiation?