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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  December 23, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

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12/23/21 12/23/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. biden: nobody saw it coming. who so i coming? amy: while president biden says no one saw the omicron variant coming, global health advocates have long warned that if we don't vaccinate the world, the pandemic will not end. we will look at why oxfam has filed a shareholder complaint
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against moderna. then "how the koch network hijacked the war on covid." >> we traced the dark money behind anti-lockdo and anti-public health narratives, specifically found t koch network was actively proming protts against lockdowns as early as april 2020. amy: plus, the pentagon has issued new rules on stopping white supremacy and other forms of extremism in the military. >> the vast majority of men and women in our armed forces, as you know, served honorably while extremist activities nato force is rare, any instance can have an outside effect. amy: and the kellogg's strike has ended with workers declaring victory. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
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i'm amy goodman. south african scientists say an explosion of covid-19 cases around johannesburg has peaked, just one month after the fast-spreading omicron variant was first detected in the region. south africa's national institute of communicable diseases said wednesday omicron appeared to cause fewer cases of debt and hospitalizations than other variants. researchers in scotland and at imperial college london announced similar findings. it's not clear whether omicron is less very light or because more people have partial immunity due to vaccination or a previous infection. meanwhile, the head of the world health organization has warned rich nations against administering booster shots widely until people in poor countries have access to vaccines. who director tedros adhanom ghebreyesus said wednesday about 20% of the world's vaccine supply is being used for booster
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shots. >> blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic rather than ending it. by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate. amy: the u.s. food and drug administration has approved emergency use of the first oral medication against covid-19. the pill was developed by pfiz and is marketed as paxlovid. in a clinical trial, the drug cut the risk of hospitalization or death by nearly 90% in people who received it within five days of the onset of symptoms. the drug is in short supply and will initially only be used treat people 12 and up who are at high risk of severe disease. meanwhile, u.s. hospitals are warning of shortages of the best widely-available covid-19 treatment. monoclonal antibodies can dramatically cut the risk of severe illness or death, but two
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of the therapies available in three the u.s. appear to be useless against the omicron variant, with only one, produced by glaxosmithkline, able to neutralize the virus. here in new york, coronavirus infections are skyrocketing ahead of the christmas holiday. governor kathy hochul announced nearly 29,000 positive cases on wednesday, another record daily toll and a 30% jump from the record set earlier this week. south carolina democratic congress member jim clyburn said wednesday he tested positive for coronavirus and is asymptomatic. clyburn is the number-three democrat in the house, serving as majority whip. he's 81 years old and reports he's fully vaccinated and received a booster shot in september. meanwhile, the supreme court said wednesday it will hold an emergency hearing on january 7 to consider challenges to president biden's vaccine mandates for large employers and a vaccination requirement for health care workers. supreme court justices have previously ruled in favor of
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vaccine mandates. a new york man who joined the far-right proud boys organization at the january 6 capitol insurrection has pleaded guilty to charges of obstructing congress and conspiring to obstruct law enforcement. as part of a plea deal, 34-year-old matthew greene of syracuse has disavowed the proud boys and will help the fbi in its investigation. he told investigators he helped program hand-held radios used by the proud boys to coordinate their assault on the capitol. matthew greene is the first proud boys member to plead guilty to the conspiracy charge. meanwhile, the house committee investigating the capitol riot has asked ohio republican and trump ally jim jordan to appear before the committee. the committee says jordan spoke to trump at least once on the day of the insurrection and may have been involved in organizing or planning actions and strategies around january 6. "the new york times" is reporting the fbi sent surveillance teams to infiltrate racial justice and anti-police
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brutality protests in portland, oregon, starting in july 2020. the fbi agents, who were originally deployed to protect portland's federal courthouse, quickly widened the scope of their mission. undercover agents participated in demonstrations, tailed vandalism suspects, and secretly recorded video of activists. the u.s. is relaxing restrictions on sending aid to afghanistan, where the humanitarian and economic crises are becoming increasingly dire. the u.s. this week backed a u.n. security council resolution which exempts most humanitarian assistance from sanctions linked to the taliban. calls are also mounting for the biden administration to unfreeze billions of dollars of afghan assets to avert widespread starvation and a humanitarian collapse. on monday, 46 house democrats wrote in a joint letter to president biden -- "we fear, as aid groups do, that maintaining this policy could cause more civilian deaths in the coming year than were lost in 20 years of war."
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on tuesday, protesters in kabul rallied with banners reading "let us eat" and "give us our money." in sudan, the u.n. called for an investigation after receiving 13 reports of rape and gang rape by security forces and two deaths linked to sunday's massive protest against the military coup. sudanese people have been taking to the streets since the october -- since october 25. greece's coast guard said wednesday at least three people were confirmed dead and up to 50 remain missing after a boat carrying asylum seekers sank in the aegean sea off the coast of turkey. rescuers were able to pull 12 12 survivors out of the water. they were hospitalized with hypothermia. the missing migrants project estimates that since 2014, more than 23,000 people have died trying to cross the mediterranean to seek asylum in europe. back in the united states, president biden said wednesday his administration will extend a
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moratorium on student loan payments due to the surging covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the u.s. ecomy. pres. biden: folks, our economic recovery is the stronst in the world, but i know that because of the pandemic many borrowers need time to resume payments. for that reason, my administration is extending a pause on student loans repayments for 90 more days, through may 1, 2022. amy: president biden had been resisting demands by progressives to extend the payment freeze, which was set to end on february 1 amid heavy lobbying by the companies that manage federal stude loans. on twitter, congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez applauded biden's change of course, added "next step: , cancellation." in texas, emergency crews responded to reports of an explosion and fire overnight at a houston-area oil refinery. at least four people were injured in the blast at the exxonmobil plant in baytown. so far, local authorities have not ordered residents to
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shelter-in-place or evacuate. the justice department said louisiana-based taylor energy has agreed to pay $43 million in damages and turn over a $432 million clean-up trust fund for an oil leak in the gulf of mexico that has been spilling since 2004. the leak started after hurricane ivan caused a 40-story oil-drilling platform to collapse. taylor energy also agreed to drop three legal challenges to government clean-up orders over the longest-running spill in u.s. history, though it will not have to admit liability as part of the settlement. a federal judge still has to approve the deal. new york city has divested $3 billion of retirement funds from fossil fuels. more city pension funds will be divested from big polluters in the coming months. outgoing new york city comptroller scott stringer said -- "today is a major victory for our planet, our children, and our pensioners. this is proof-positive that
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environmental and fiscal responsibility go hand in hand." in alabama, amazon workers at the bessemer warehouse are speaking out after two of their colleagues died on the job, within hours of each other, last month. one of them was denied sick leave before succumbing to a fatal stroke. this is amazon worker isaiah thomas speaking to the outlet more perfect union. >> he had gone to hr and said, "i'm not feeling so well, can i please go home?" we don't have enough and paid time off. she goes, negative. they will get rid of you like that. so a lot of people are terrified of that post of this dude did not have eugh to go home, so there effectively telling him, it is either you go home and lose your job or you just stay here and keep working through the pain. amy: amazon workers told more perfect union six people have died at the warehouse this year
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but that amazon is trying to stop their stories from being told. and oscar short lists were announced this week. ong thdocumeary shts is "takeove by emma francisnyder, ich folls the historihours onuly 141970, wh membersf the young lords ok ovethe ndown lioln hospal in th soh brx to dand bett healthare. the ung lordwere aadical group unded byuerto rins moded on thelack paner part demoacy now!o-host jn gonález, co-founr of the yog lords,elped ganize the action. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we begin today's show looking at the pandemic and the fight for vaccine equity. new research shows the european union, the united states, and the u.k. have received more covid vaccines in the past six weeks than the entire continent of africa -- of african countries has received over the past year. the research was conducted by
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the people's vaccine alliance. this comes as the world is confronting a surge in new cases linked to the highly contagious omicron variant. public health advocates have long warned the world will continue to face new and potentially more dangerous variants if major parts of the world remain largely unvaccinated. yet on wednesday, president biden was asked about the new variant by abc's david muir. >> the vice president said recently that you did not see delta coming, you did not see omicron coming. how did you get it wrong? pres. biden: [laughter] nobody saw it coming. who saw it coming? amy: we turn now to look at the fight to force moderna to share its vaccine technology to help end the pandemic. oxfam america recently filed a shareholder complaint with the securities and exchange commission against moderna. oxfam, which is a moderna shareholder, has accused the company of misleading investors about an ongoing dispute over
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whether it needs to share vaccine patents with the u.s. government. the national institutes of health says three vernment scientists played a major role in developing moderna's vaccine but their names were omitted from the patent application. we are joined now by robbie silverman. he is the senior corporate advocacy manager at oxfam america. welcome to democracy now! why don't you start off by explaining just what the shareholder complaint is. >> great to be with you. oxfam is a shareholder in moderna. we own shares in all the major u.s. vaccine manufacturers a we monitor closely what these countries are facing by not vaccining the world equally. in moderna's case, moderna is a comedy would not exist absence of support of u.s. government. moderna received two point $5 billion in u.s. taxpayer funds for research and development for
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its vaccine recipe. as you noted, moderna scientists cocreated the vaccine along with u.s. government scientists in the national institute of health. however, when moderna filed the patent application, it deliberately excluded those u.s. government scientists. it did not fully reveal that for a year, he waengaged an activeispue u.s. govnment over whoctually eated th vaccin it burthat infmation fm inveors like oam, so w led a colaint wh the securiti and excnge coission, e sec, sd modea was n fly trsparent out s disput withhe.s.ovnment. this goes to the heart of vaccine access because the u.s. government did in fact cocreated the vaccine alongside moderna, that gives the u.s. government increased ability to force moderna to share technology, open up access, and manufacture
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more doses that we so desperately need. amy: talk about this issue. because if the u.s. government made this possible, why they d't have the formula -- which, a parent was part of the agreement? >> that is right. what happened is as soon as the pandemic hit i'm from the nih and from moderna collaborated to did -- to develop the recipe behind moderna's vaccine. since then, moderna has continued to manufacture doses in cell doses but prioritized selling only to rich countries up until basically the fall of this year, moderna had not provided a single dose to any low-income country all across e world. and even now, most of the doses it pledged to low-income countries will not arrive until
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2022. as we know, the virus continues to rage. variants continue to emerge. that threatens global public health, including here in the united states. moderna as a company must do more to share its vaccine, and the u.s. government, because it does have such a state in the moderna vaccine, needs do mo on his rt to coel modea to shareechnolog and doses with t rest ofhe world. amy: i want to go to moderna's co-founder noubar afeyan who recently appeared on cnn and was questioned about patents by fareed zakaria. >> let me ask you about this, a lot of people or some people are saying you guys should be giving this technology away, waving all your intellectual patents. explain what moderna's position is. i understand you are willing to say you will not enforce patents
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as long as covid is around. >> the first time we spoke was around a year ago when we voluntarily pledged, the only company to have done that, voluntarily pledged not to enforce our patents against anybody fuses our patents to make a vaccine against the pandemic. there have been no proof the vaccine would work but we did that because we thought it w the rit ing to do. we believe that has enabled others to make mrna vaccines and if others do that even further, that is great. amy: robbie silverman, can you explain what he is saying? >> yes. what he is saying is that moderna agreed not to enforce its patents. what moderna has not agreed to do is actively share its technology and there's a big difference. one example, right now the world health organization is trying to send up a new mrna manufacturing facility in south africa to oduce doses
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for the african continent, which as you know has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the entire world. the who approached moderna and said, moderna, will you share your technology so we can produce doses as quickly as possible? moderna said, no. as a result, the who says it will take twice as long to stand -- set of this new facility in the virus will continue to rage, thousands will fall ill, and many will die. if moderna is not actively sharing its technology. amy: explain exactly what you're shareholder complaint can do. we are taking a two-pronged approach right now. first, we are calling in the sec to investigate moderna for not being fully transparent about its patent dispute with the u.s.
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government we urge the sec to undertake a full investigation. 've also filed a shareholder resolution with moderna that calls on the company to report on the feasibility of transferring its technology to low and middle income countries so it can fully leverage the world's manufacturing capacity to peruse as many doses as possible. we think moderna's failure to do more to promote vaccine equity first is harming the company's own reputation but second, it is harming the entire global economy because many studies from the imf, the oecd, international chamber of commerce, has said failed to vaccinate the world equally is costing the globe trillions of dollars and economic damage. we see the result of that all around us.
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entire economies in europe shutting down because of the new variant, factories in malaysia and vietnam closing, supply chains are snarled. moderna's failure to do more to promote vaccine equity is harming its own reputation but also harming the global economy and interest of corporate investors at large. so we think it is incumbent on moderna. to do more. amy: the eight top pfizer, serna shareholders made over $10 million in their stock holdings skyrocketed after the discovery of omicron? >> it is frankly obscene. oxfam did research and we calculated the three mrna vaccine producers -- moderna, pfizer, and biontech -- are earninmore than $1000 in profit every single second. so the pandemic is doing
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incredibly well for these companies. these companies are profiting directly off the pandemic. new billionaires left and right because these companieare prioritizing selling doses to rich countries at inflated prices. we now know at least three doses, some countries are in ministering four doses of the mrna vaccines while essentially doing almost nothing to vaccinate low income countries. that has negative impacts for all of us. one of the things we have learned is many of the other vaccines that are out there -- johnson & johnson, astrazeneca, the chinese vaccine -- are simply not effective against the omicron variant. as a result, we need many, many more mrna vaccine doses thawe currtly hav and theseompanies areery ppy to kp seing to rh countrs while w varian emerhat ultitely wou be
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go for business as you said, thrtocks skyrocked. am these 120 factories around the world that are ready to make the vaccine, moderna sound like, "we won't sue any copy that makes it," but they don't show the formula, which is essential. >> that is exactly right. you also have a proposal by more than 100 countri around the world, led by south africa and india, with the wto, basically saying, hey, give us the recipe, give us the technical know-how and we will manufacture our own doses for our own cizens. as you note, there are facilities the world over that stand at the ready to produce these doses and big pharma and richountries are blocking that proposal by more than 100 countries around the world. they are saying this donation-based model to end the pandemic were rich countries give left overdoses to poorer
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countries, that is not a sustainable solution. what we as low and middle income countries want is the ability to manufacture our own doses for our own citizens. big pharma companies are putting profit before public health and rich countries that have hoarded vaccine dosefor their n citizens are blocking that proposal. ultimately, it is self-defeating because the longer the world remains unvaccinated, the more new variants we're going to have and the more threat to public health we will have come even in rich countries like the united states and europe. amy: let's go back to what president biden said in that interview with abc news. pres. biden: how do we get wrong? nobody saw it coming. who saw it coming? amy: "who saw it coming?" we have been interviewing oneworld health expert after another the st yea robbie silverman. >> that is exactly right. this was incredibly foreseeable.
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it is tragic how foreseeable this was. since the start of the ndemic, we have been saying no one is safe until everyone is safe. many officials and the biden administration have said the same thingecause they recognize the longer the world remains unvaccinated, the more the virus will mutate, the more new variants like omicron will emerge that are potentially more easily transmissible, and that will threaten the entire global public health. it is not sufficient just to vaccinate the u.s. and rich countries because the virus knows no national boundaries. it will continue to recirculate and come back and threaten our own health in the united states as we are saying hospitals filling out, thousands of people infected every day. it is truly tragic that many public health activists and activist saw this coming, saw the new variants would emerge if we did not vaccinate the world, and now we are living this reality were even with 70%
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vaccination rates, our own public health is threatened because of the emergence of new variants. amy: robbie silverman, thank you for being with us, senior corporate advocacy manager at oxfam america. in 30 seconds, how the koch network hijacked the war on covid. ♪♪ [music break] amy: florence price's symphony no.1 in e minor - finale played by the philadelphia orchestra. price was the first black composer to have her work played by a major american orchestra in
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the 1930's. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. "how the koch network hijacked the war on covid." that's the headline to a new report looking at how a right-wing network linked to billionaire charles koch has played a key role in fighting public health measures put in place by governments during the pandemic, including mask and vaccine mandates, contact tracing, and lockdowns. the institutions with ties to koch include alec, the american legislative exchange council, the american institute for economic research, donors trust, the hoover institution, and hillsdale college. we are joined now by reporter walker bragman of the daily poster. he and alex kotch co-wrote the new investigation, which was produced by the daily poster in partnership with the center for media and democracy. lay, walker, what you found. >> thank you for having me. we found this vast, opaque,
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right when network of nonprofits has been ending promoting anti-lockdowns, into public health activism, research, and messaging. they employed the same model that was used during -- to create the tea party stop that model was laid out by jeff nesbitt, former communication official at the fda in a george h.w. bush's white house including an academic network to support it intellectually, policy networks in every state, grassroots alliance, a propaganda arm, and a national coordinator group to make it all run smoothly. our focus is primarily on the academic network. we also talked a little bit about the grassroots movement as well. as early as april 2020, you see groups like freedom works which was instrumentain the tea party protest in 2009, begin protesting against lockdown.
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and americans for prosperity, america legislative it exchange council were calling on trumped to keep the country open. afp started in march 2020 and really shortly after the virus arrived stateside, and trump was receptive to those messages. on march 24, he said he wanted to reopen america by easter. in addition to those efforts, koch-backed groups have funded and supported academic research that is against lockdowns and other public health measures. the great barrington declaration, which arose in october 2020, came out of a conference hosted by the koch- backed and there can for american research. amy: in great barrington. close yes, great barrington, massachusetts. that document recommended
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countries around the world, governments around the world adopt a strategy of herd immunity through natural infection, where only focused protection is implemented to protect the most vulnerable. otherwise, the virus should be allowed to rip through the younger, healthier population. that document was extremely influential in a number of countries, including the united states. obviously, trump was very interested in the quick fix if promised to his pandemic woes during his reelection campaign. his senior officials in hi white house for promoting e documento him, like scott alice -- amy: of stanford. >> the stamper professor, and neuroradiologist, not a public health expert but he was the head of trump's covid team.
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he promoted the great barrington declaration and its message. we have seen the strategy sort of play out and fail everywhere it has been implemented. here in the u.s., in u.k., boris johnson was -- prime minister boris johnson was slow to react to the virus. that has been attributed to his support for herd immunity your infection. sweden adopted that strategy. in all of these places, they have seen extreme numbers of deaths. florida and texas, to states in particular that pushed reopening quickly, accounted for one third of all u.s. covid deaths this summer. a new report out of the u.k. parliament found boris johnson's sluggish response to covid caused thousands of unnecessary deaths. sweden is the more deaths and
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cases than its immediate neighbors in august -- amy: walker bragman, can you talk about hillsdale college, the conservative christian institution with connection to the trump administration? >> absolutely. hillsdale college is a small, conservative college in michigan. it was founded in 1844 and has been a bastion of conservative thoughever since. justice clarence thomas called it a shining city on a hill. the president of hillsdale college chaired donald trump's 1776 commission, which is you will recall was the effort to craft american history cuiculum around america's strengths as opposed to is sort of dark past. it was sort of a response to the
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6019 project. so all still college is now setting up a new academy for science and freedom which feates is itinitial fellows two of the authors of the great barrington declaration as well as scott atlas, the trump advisor who pushed the herd immunity through infection strategy. that sort of where we are at. it is the latest effort to provide an academic cover to this sort of fringe theory of public health. amy: and the market's center, where does that fit in? >> is another koch-funded institution out of george mason university. in june, they started putting the research a professor emily auster, a brown university economics professor and parenting blogger who has been prominent throughout the pandemic calling on schools to reopen. she has been amplified by the
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atlantic and rolling stone did a feature on her. her views have been controversial. she was going to bring children back into classrooms before we even vaccinated teachers, saying very low risk. her ideas as well, i mean, have been shown to be wrong. when delta first arrived in the u.s., one of the first place as it spread were schools. now we are saying -- seeing auster reemerge. the reason the -- charles koch is so interested in keeping everything open is because the demands for oil fell in early 2020 when the pandemic first hit and all of these public health measures were put in place. it does not work for his business. and on the others to become of the ideological aspect, where if
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the government does what it should have been doing all along -- which many of the epidemiologists i havspoken to have suggested a more interventionist approach by the federal government, including paying people to stay home, providing hazard pay to essential workers, providing paid sick leave. if that approach were adopted by the federal government, the entire basis for the neoliberal ideology that koch pushes falls away. reagan said the nine most terrifying was an english-language are "i am from the government and i am here to help." we have seen the truth is the nine most terrifying words are "i am from the government and you are on your own." amy: walker, can you talk more specifically about the koch network's approach to workers, to workers rights during also the pandemic? >> yeah.
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so the koch network obviously is very opposed to measures that would benefit workers, that would create -- that would eliminate some of the insecurity that many workers in america feel. today, people have to decide between risking their health and making an income. that is a situation that fosters -- that people are sort of stuck in. koch opposes -- sorry. they oppose any kind of intervention, paid sick leave, vaccine mandate -- anything that could eliminate some of that insecurity, they oppose it. i'm not sure i answered your question. amy: you did. what most shocked you about your
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investigation, walker? >> i was surprised to see auter's name come up. we're not saying everybody who is being backed by the kochs is doing so -- is espousing with a espouse because they're getting funded. but it is interesting to me that all of these people who have been pushing sort of this return to normalcy get back to that pre-pandemic normal are being backed by this network. you see that sort of through the lens of trying to maintain corporate profit at the expense of human life. i mean, we have lost 800,000 americans by the official count, and those numbers, according to the epidemiologists i have spoken to, an undercount. the cdc as well as those numbers -- probably 30% that there --
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that they are off by 30%. america walker, thank you for being with us. we will link to the piece you wrote for the daily poster, also your cofounder of optout. the new piece called "how the koch network hijacked the war on covid." the investigation was produced with the daily poster in partnership with the center for media and democracy. when we come back, the kellogg's strike is in it with workers declaring victory. then we look at the military's guidelines for dealing with white supremacy. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "there is power in a union" by billy bragg. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in a major victory for labor rights, workers at kellogg's cereal plants have ended their nearly three-month strike after approving a new contract that provides across-the-board wage increases and enhanced benefits for all.
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some 1400 kellogg's workers in michigan, nebraska, tennessee, have been on strike since october. over the weekend, senator bernie sanders joined striking kellogg's workers in michigan. >> in the middle of a pandemic, legitimately, your heroes. you are feeding america. it is outrageous the company response to your sacrifices by saying, we are taking their jobs to mexo. they ge their o $12 miion aear. amy: o of the st conteed issue that pernent two-tie stem, wherworkers red afte2015 werpaid less th long-tenuredorkers. the new five-year agreement with kellogg's doesn't include the two-tier system, gives workers a clear path to full-time employment, and provides a significant increase in the pension multiplier. we are joined now by kevin bradshaw, president of local 252g in memphis, tennessee.
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a striking kellogg's worker who has worked for the company for 20 years. kevin, welcome back to democracy now! can you talk exactly about what you won? >> thank you for having me. we won the fight against the alternative work schedule that the comedy wanted to introduce and a permanent two-tier wage system. we were able to get those things taken off the table, along with additional things like increase to our cost of living allowances for everyone and for our pension plan, significant increase to our pension plan. a lot of good things. i would say in essence we did win. amy: have you already returned to the plant work? >> return monday, december 27. amy: can you talk about who works at these plants around the country? you're in memphis.
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the demography of the racial breakdown of the workers? >> i would say in memphis, probably kobani only a black plan. -- predominantly a black plan. in omaha and battle creek, but memphis is predominantly a black light and always has been. amy: can you talk about what you produce? close in memphis, we make frosted flakes, cornflakes, froot loops, rice crispies, i mean, different flavors of rice crispies and also the rice they used to make the rice krispie treat. other plans, we make specialty brands, special k, shdded wheat, stuff like that. so much cereal. everything that kellogg's makes, we -- we feed america. amy: this strike was almost three months. how did the workers get by on
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the picket line? >> a lot of our workers, it was a very stressful time of adversity and heartbreak and financial hardship. medical needs. we made it throughout the different -- we set up a gofundme and things like that, made it from different unions around t world, national involved. different affiliates across the world. we were able to network and reach out all across the world to help maintain most of our international provided weekly funds for everyone. ich were very appreciated. we maintained just by networking and coming together unions all over the world. amy: can you talk about the conditions in the plant, especially in this time of the pandemic? >> conditions now when we go back?
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does remain to be seen will be go back. right now, we know some of the plans are probably in bad shape with replacement workers that they have. things have beenroken and stolen and just tore up. we have to go back in and rebuild our plans to get them back up and running to be able to feed america. amy: finally, on the two-tiered system, explain more fully the significance of what it means -- have you done aw with it entirely? >> what the company was asking for was a permanent two-tiered system where when a new person comes in, that no chance to be of the top out at max pay. what we were able to come away with is a guaranteed process that would allow them to graduate every year 3% of the total population at that plant would graduate to what we call a full-time employee to receive the same benefits and pension and insurance as myself, as i have. it is the win for us because
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there is a clear path to get top pay. amy: kevin bradshaw, thank you for being with us, president of local 252g in memphis, tennessee, a striking kellogg's worker who has worked for the company for 20 years. there going back to work on monday. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the pentagon has announced new rules aimed at slowing the spread of extremism and white supremacy in the military's ranks. pentagon spokesperson john kirby said monday that, among other rule changes, soldiers may now be disciplined for "liking" white nationalist and other extremist content on social media. >> the vast majority of men and women in our armed forces, as you know, served honorably. while extremist activity in the
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force is rare, any instance can have an outsize effect. amy: the pentagon announcement comes just two weeks before the first anniversary of the january 6 insurrection. according to the southern poverty law center, more than 80 of the 700 individuals charged by the justice department in connection with the capitol riot have ties to the u.s. military. dozens of former and active-duty military personnel have also been linked to far right and white nationalist groups, including the neo nazi atomwaffen division, the base, and the boogaloo movement. we are joined now by susan corke, the director of the southern poverty law center's intelligence project. susan is also co-author of the report titled "the democracy playbook," a resource to fight authoritarianism and strengthen democratic resilience.
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welcome, susan. can you talk about what the military has decided? it is also interesting the pentagon has made this decision, issued these guidelines under the first african-american secretary of defense, austin. >> thank you so much for having me today. i am happy to talk about this. we were pleased to see secretary austen has made this a real priority. soutrn poverty law center has been tracking and reporting on extremism in the military since the mid-1980's as part of our work monitoring the activities of to masticate groups and extremists. we have been alerting the defense apartmensince then. with secretary austin making it a priority, and did reach out to experts in civil society, civil rights organizations like ours, academia, veterans rights
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groups. we did feel like we were consuld in the course of this process. but it is important to note, though, though, should not have taken juary 6 two rows us to rely address the probleof extremism in the military. there has been a dangerous and disturbing trend for many years, and it is not unique to the military of course. this is part of a problem in society at large. you are right, we did track more than 70 of the 800 do have ties to the u.s. military. most are veterans. some are active-duty personnel. that came as no surprise to us because for the hate and extra is groups we track, veterans and service members are incredibly valuable recruits. they bring legitimacy to those groups. they bring specialized training.
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they bring an increased capacity for violence. you know, a couple of things that came up when secretary austin first launched the review and then set up the counter extremism working group, they concluded there is not enough data and that they did not really have an understanding of the problem and they needed to more clearly define the terms extremist activities and active participation. so this report did that. it did provide a definition that doesn't change exactly what is prohibited except it does go into more detail. so i would say the devil will be the details of the implementation. that this is a serious step forward, but it will make it more transparent and there
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implement in a number of important steps, however, there are more things we think they need to do and we will be monitoring to see how the implementation moves forward. amy: i want to go back to pentagon press briefing this week with the pentagon spokesperson john kirby was questioned about exactly how the new rules will be implemented. >> does that mean they are authorized -- will they be monitoring social media 24/7 of their unit members or any recruits? how does the monitoring -- >> it is not about monitoring. there's no methodology in here. there is no intent. we don't -- there is no ability to monitor the personal social media content of every member of the armed forces. and even if there was, that is not the intent here. what we are talking about is a case where, for instance, it
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came to light that an individual on social media openly advocated , forwarded, encouraged the dissemination of prohibited extremist material. that would have to come to light through various streams of reporting. it would not be something the command or the department is going to be actively fishing for. >> so if a member of u.s. military "likes" a process as joe biden is not the president, as considered extremist behavior a punishable? >> i'm not going to get into specific hypotheticals. i won't do that. amy: that is john kirby. if you could explain more -- he also said that, you know, if you're known member of the ku klux klan, you will be fired. it is if you act on that. what exactly does that mean? >> first, i heard that interview
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he did, too. you know, it is notable that have gone to the level of prohibiting the use of social media to distribute or support extremist activities and that would include posting, liking, sharing, to streaming content -- just writing content and by stating the military personnel responsible for the content they publish on all personal and public domain, including their social media sites logs. one thing we were tracking was the way extremists were and those that were within the military were even using their military email addresses. all of the planning was happening right out in the open on major platforms. the devil will be in the details on the implementation step as you can see from that clip come
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he doesn't really have a good answer on what the plans are for implementation. the rules are clear and what falls outside of the guidelines is clear, but, yeah, he says they won't be monitoring and it would have to be reported in and/or coming to light through another way. there are a couple of things we think need to be added in as recommendations and next steps, and one is, beyond this voluntary reporting a few see something -- if you see something come incredibly hard to do. we recommended expanded protections for whistleblowers and have to be able to report things you see outside of your chain of command. second, doing mandatory, anonymous climate surveys that
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results are made transparently available. so it is not just these social media -- it doesn't just come to light by virtue of reporting or through another investigation, that there is this other baseline data and these chains for people to be reporting outside of their commanding structure. amy: i want to ask about something else in your new report that you were disappointed that what came out of the military does not call for tenuous army bases named for confederate leaders to be immediately renamed. >> we see that as something that could be a really important step that could happen relatively quickly. i know theres a committee set up to consider in over three years or so, but having army bases named after the loss because of the confederacy -- which is essentially the
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perpetuation of white supremacists beliefs --sin an incredibly dangerous signal to people of color within the military, that those army bases are celebrating a cause that wanted to keep them in slavery. we see that as a step that could be taken immediately and is overdue. amy: i also would ask about the latest news, and this involves the insurrection and what the southern poverty law center is saying about it. in our headlines today, the new york and who joined the far right proud boys at the january 6 capital insurrection pleading guilty to charges of obstructing justice and conspiring to obstruct law enforcement. as part of the deal come the 34-year-old matthew greene of syracuse has disavowed the proud boys and will help the fbi in its investigation host of he
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told investigators he helped program handheld radios used by proud boys to coordinate their assault on the capital. he is the first other proud boys to plead guilty to the conspiracy chae. can you talk about the significance of the proud boys and the involvement of these different white supremacist groups in the insurrection? >> the proud boys have really grown during the trump administration. they went from sort of relatively french chemist ideas and the dangers legacy of the trump administration is those dangerous fringe whites premised ideas have been mainstreamed into the republican party. there proud boys had a direct line into the white house and into the halls of congress. they were providing security at supper -- republican events.
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they are frightening presence. they have not been standing down since january 6. they are expanding into the grassroots politics and stirring up trouble. you know, many in the gop have not disavowed them. they are a force that we continue to be worried about. they have had problems, including with their leader, that there is trouble within their ranks. one of the things the southern poverty law center and my team does is find out what is going on beneath the surface and be exposing it. so the fact -- you know, people within the proud boys are starting to turn to the fbi and share their information, that is very help. it creates distrust and turmoil -- you mentioned the base, another group.
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we had received this tranche of secretly recorded recruitment videos from the base. that enabled us to expose what was going on and bring awareness to that group, activities they were planning that has led to their dismantling. that is one of our key strategies, the crowd was, the oath keepers, the base to be monitoring and exposing and pushing for accountability for the individuals and groups that are engaging in the extremist activity. amy: can you also talk about white supremacists in the military, not only in this country, but around the world and that means? >> white supremacists and u.s. military, yes. i have talked to a l of vetera about this, to. they see this as a threat that
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is on par with having members of al qaeda or isis within the military. that this is a threat within. when there are white supremacist s within the military, there is a threat within. these people are subverting the oath, the constitution that service members have aligned with and creates an incredibly corrosive environment for the military, which is perhaps the most diverse institution of american democracy. amy: we have five seconds. >>? in military times, about half the military members think the number one threat is racism and white supremacy within their ranks as a national security threat. amy: susan corke, thank you for being with us, director of the southern poverty law center's intelligence project.
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a clarification, from headlines, house majority whip jim clyburn, the number three democrat and house leadership, purported he is asymptomatic for covid-19 after he tested positive for coronavirus infection. happy early birthday narmeen maria!■■■■■■■
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