tv Headline News RT April 26, 2013 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT
there are the building. it was. you live on one hundred thirty three bucks a month so food i should try it because you know how fabulous i had luck. i mean family and friends and i believe that i'm still really messed up. in the old story so. it's. the worst you're going to live through the white house or the. radio guy minestrone. what you were about to do did you never seen anything like this until. i'm abby martin and welcome to breaking the set so today i had the rare opportunity
to share good news for once to start the show samaras solve policy and political prisoner will end his eight month hunger strike in exchange for an early release from israeli jails as all we was first arrested for taking part in military activities against i.d.f. vehicles back in two thousand and two and was sent to twenty six years in prison he was then released as part of a prisoner exchange but was rearrested last july and since august of two thousand and twelve salvi has been protesting as the tension by refusing food and only taking water vitamins and sugars for two hundred and sixty six days over the last two months a saw his health has been a deteriorating his heartbeat slowing forcing him to put on artificial ventilation at the same time the unrest among palestinians with escalating to the point of fear of a third intifada samara was allowed to die while the great news of his early release prompted assad way to write a victory letter in which he states quote now i plead for a continuation of the popular movement and its escalation on all fronts in order to
struggle for the political prisoners and i also call for the continuation of the political and diplomatic mobilization to end. issue of the political prisoners and a turn into the international criminal court ordered indict the judges of the occupation under international law for the crimes that are being perpetrated against the palestinian people it's so great that israeli authorities understand the need to release samaras so we but even though he will be free soon there are thousands more palestinian men women and children being unjustly detained still deserve our attention so let's go on with the struggle and let's break the set. the table where there are still going to be like. oh. if you've been watching the corporate media then you may have missed a devastating tragedy and its coverage of the boston bombing and syria's chemical
weapons scare but this story should not be overlooked because it affects everyone in the world that wears commercial clothes on wednesday a giant garment factory in dhaka bangladesh collapsed due to a severe and massive crack in the building's infrastructure and since then three hundred people been confirmed dead from being trapped in crush the debris at least nine hundred more are still unaccounted for and sadly the death toll is only expected to grow not to mention the one thousand plus left injured however what's even more devastating than the single incident is that this is anything but uncommon in the southeast asian country just this past november another garment factory in bangladesh incurred a fire that killed at least one hundred twelve people and that's not all and only the last five months there have been at least thirty to forty smaller incidents of fires and workplace deaths in the country's clothing factories in fact prior to this latest incident seven hundred apparel workers have died in preventable factory
fires and building collapses since two thousand and five according to international labor rights forum. this new should be particularly disconcerting to american consumers because according to b.s.'s the bangladeshi news service the u.s. receives twenty three percent of the country's product more than any other nation in the world including one of the most popular retailers in the u.s. . yet despite the slick advertising there's a dark and disturbing reality on the origin of these products the fact that these companies are not ensuring safety standards the effect of which directly results and these mass casualties. that's why human rights groups have stepped in calling on apparel brands and retailers to sign on to the bangladesh fire and safety agreement which would establish
a system of independent inspectors and force their proposed changes into effect but unfortunately this agreement is not gaining as much traction as it needs to be because of some company's refusal to sign on including gap inc so help me gain some insight on the latest disaster the contagion the conditions of these factories and how they could be improved i'm joined now by theresa director for communications for the workers thank you so much for coming on to reason so devastating tragedy what exactly happened because i've heard reports of the workers that already pointed out there was a severe crack five stories long and they didn't want to work and also some of the other companies in the same building had already been evacuated why didn't they leave that's correct and so actually the day before the collapse took place on tuesday there were noticeable clear cracks in the building and workers pointed these out to officials and in fact other. other people in the building who worked at the bank that was in the building people who worked at the market in the
building noticed these cracks and actually those businesses were closed the following day wednesday and police had notified the factory of these serious problems and advised them to close and yet the five garment factories that were in the facility continued operating throughout wednesday even though workers have voiced very serious concerns about their safety in the facility and how did the building owner respond when they did speak out because i read reports that they actually said you will be docked for a month of pay correct workers were threatened with a dock of their pay. terminations other things like that if they were refusing to work in the factory because of these concerns because ultimately managers want workers to continue working as much and as quickly as possible for fear that they might deliver an orderly and somehow lose. this from brands and retailers sourcing from these facilities really really devastating especially since their kind of prison of this catch twenty two where they don't want to lose
a month of pay i mean these people are living on a very small wages paycheck to paycheck and of course they they feel like they don't have a choice essentially this makes the factory owner criminally culpable i mean knowing that the building is on the verge of collapsing and forcing the people essentially to work do you think that will see these people face prosecution that are involved in this in this factory we have seen arrests and criminal charges filed against factory owners and managers in previous fires the fire that happened back in november the smart export garment fire that happened in january where eight workers were killed there have been charges filed and arrests made in those cases and i think it's quite likely that we will see something similar in this case and the infrastructure is just one aspect of these conditions what the actual working conditions give us a sense of who is working in these factories and what conditions they work in so bangladesh is now the second largest export of the u.s. and it is
a garment industry made up of about five million mostly young female garment workers in their late teens or early twenty's who are struggling to survive on a minimum wage of thirty seven dollars a month which is an extremely low wage even by bangladesh living standards and they are subject to incredibly long hours eleven twelve hours a day six days a week. there are very serious fire safety violations going on other health concerns in the factory verbal abuse physical abuse is quite common as well. really really long i mean it's almost equatable slave labor when you're looking at you know no benefit to religious harsh working conditions long hours very little pay pennies on the dollar. in the u.s. united states are proven to have the least amount of work or debts the safest environment for workers is there. sort of a movement going on in bangladesh and to unionize and organize within these factories there is there certainly are efforts and i'm glad you pointed that out
because in this country many people may be familiar with the triangle shirtwaist factory fire that happened more than one hundred years ago in this country and it really galvanized a movement among female garment workers in this country to improve conditions and lead to formation of a number of labor unions towards that end and workers in bangladesh have tried similar strategies but in bangladesh there is an extreme level of oppression that exists towards workers who attempt to exercise these rights about a year ago. the labor union organizer by the name of islam was found tortured and murdered in an apparent retaliation for his efforts to support workers' rights to speak out and that's the kind of attitude that that these individuals are treated with in that country so obviously it's still in a culture of fear and kind of the chilling effect to not want to do that all of this aside i've actually shockingly read that safety standards are getting progressively better i mean is this due in part to the organizing that is happening on a grassroots level i think i think to some extent that is true although what we've
seen over the past several months in number of the deadly fires and other building disasters that have led to more than seven hundred deaths just in the past six months alone and so although we've heard a number of statements from u.s. and european brands and retailers about the progress that they're making that has not come to pass i don't want laws exist right now to prevent these things that are they not being enforced or derg are simply not enough laws there in place bangladesh actually has an excellent labor code they have an excellent national building code that is based on u.s. building regulations the difficulty and the problem is that those things are not enforced and brands and retailers sourcing from this factory from the other facilities that have burned have their own monitoring programs in place and those programs have proven to be incredibly ineffective at. preventing and protecting workers from these types of tragedies and let's talk about the other parties responsible here which of course are companies corporations and u.s.
clothing companies we know that twenty two percent of bangladeshi goods are exported to this country what companies are the biggest players in the bangladeshi sweatshop scene right now so the largest companies sourcing from bangladesh is the european retailer h. and wal-mart is the largest u.s. buyer from the country there's a number of other big buyers gap is a large player there as well as a number of european retailers as well and of course in the wake of the last two disasters as you said you know people are saying we're working on safety standards wal-mart and gap are both pledging money gap is even saying that they're going to pledge twenty million dollars yet they're not signing on to this agreement which would actually ensure that these cities and are carried out efficiently and you and your organization has said that this is not good enough the twenty million dollars so what needs to be done how can we get these companies to sign on i mean it sounds like a no brainer so over the past few weeks wal-mart has announced about one point five million dollars or so towards a training initiatives for factories in bangladesh and it's important to understand
that you cannot train workers to walk through fire what really needs to happen is that brands and retailers need to undertake a program throughout the five thousand garment factories in the country and make fundamental structural renovations and repairs to prevent these types of fires and collapses from happening and that's what this agreement would lead to it would require brands and retailers to make a legally binding enforceable commitments to improve structural safety in the buildings they source from allow access for worker representatives to the facilities and independent fire safety inspections which are largely. not happening in the industry there now and we were sympathetic to the corporations and even the corporations themselves who have this bottom line saying you know it's really costly to do this it might be a huge cut to our. the profit margin how much of a profit market are we looking at let's with a calvin t. shirt for forty dollars being sold here in the u.s.
so an estimate that we have put together is that over the period of five years it would cost about three billion u.s. dollars to renovate all of the factories in bangladesh for fire and building safety and i i know that sounds like a large number but it breaks down to less than ten cents per garment which is an extremely small price to pay to save the lives of of what is likely to be hundreds of more deaths over the coming years and they're making thousands of percent profit on each piece of government have about a minute left but sweatshops seem to have emerged in china and now they're going to bangladesh i mean it seems like a vicious cycle where companies are going to continue to chase whatever is the cheapest labor and exploited for the countries that are willing to take the most health and safety risks how do we stop this vicious cycle no that's absolutely true bangladesh is the lowest wage country in the world and orders continue to flow into the country unabated and so what needs to happen is that we need to reverse the downward price pressure and the race to the bottom that is being driven by companies like gap and wal-mart in h. and m.
and require them to take meaningful steps to improve and building safety in their supplier factories in bangladesh thank you so much for coming on breaking down is extremely important story theresa has communications director worker rights consortium membership it. feel like what you see you can head to our you tube channel at youtube dot com slash breaking ascent be sure to subscribe so you do not miss a single episode we also have all our interview segments tabbed out if you want to catch those separately and could you want to check out our interview yesterday about islamophobia perpetuated by the corporate media and also check out every everything we've done separately under tab the section on the top of the page from big brother watch to weapons of mass distraction check out all that and more youtube dot com slash break in the set and i know that to break from my preaching to new year from our favorite comedian activist lead can. wealthy british style. sometimes the tireless.
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hyping up the fear of an impending nuclear attack north korea or this. being a mobile missile launcher that has been moved within north korea by train the launcher has the ability to strike japan as well as u.s. bases in okinawa and guam adding to the fears today the young leader of the north said the moment of explosion is coming the moment exploded is coming so what happened interesting how the media jumps from one salacious threat to the other that they just forget about this imminent danger facing this nation oh my next guest is here to get his two cents on that and a whole lot more right now i'm joined by lee can comedian activist and creator of the moment of clarity web series what is going on leak i have a how you know i'm doing great so we the media say north korea is the biggest threat facing this country two weeks ago what the hell happened. i think they just they just point frantic america they just want to keep you scared because it's good
ratings rates every whether it's real or not it's everything you put on there are different you'd be afraid all right crack me up right and then every commercial break you have is. exactly because it shows that there is really no use in this country after all and of course the threat of domestic terrorism take its place really quickly what i found most interesting is how some lawmakers had to link it to a gratian i wanted to just paraphrase what representative louie gohmert said who said radical muslims are posing to spandex to cross the border and terrorize the us silly should we be worried about care dressing up as muslims next of kins oh my god we should this is the al qaeda is finally figured out if they just wear a sombrero and eat it taco that's all it takes to get through i mean is this really the respect he has for our f.b.i. that all you have to do to. commit an attack on the us is where are you brave t. shirts you know before that before they came out with this hispanic threat all the
f.b.i. was looking for was t. shirts that said bin laden is my homeboy. really calls into question how these people are even elected i mean how is it that louie gohmert an elected representative spewing such nonsense as ok to dressing up in sombreros crossing the border to infiltrate and attack this country i mean it's the point of just such absurd and of course let's talk together a new story that's making headlines the opening of the bush presidential library centrally a giant museum glorifying his presidency i mean is it just me or does this historical revisionism terrify you to. i mean i think that everybody in america pretty much appreciates the irony of the least illiterate president we've ever had opening a library it's like the mel gibson center of you know racial sensitivity but apparently the library has like it has a decision theatre where you go in and you try and see if you can make the decisions bush made and i was just trying to picture what that looks like you know
like hurricane katrina hits people or drowning in new orleans do you fly overhead in your helicopter and then put a horse trainer or charge a fee is that how you deal with it because it is the decider because the design of that decision room and someone else told me it was hilarious they're like what is that full of pop up books and and is it just there's just one book that my pet goat upside down in the this it is quite astounding of course hearing all the speeches and you know bush did get a little got a little emotional after giving his speech a little wink a little tear i mean you think those tears of joy are that he thinks he has friends again. you know no one spoken to him in many years so i think that's pretty exciting for him and of course the media the media didn't really cover the protesters that were outside my friend and filmmaker dennis traynor got arrested dressed as dick cheney outside the library so i think it was just exciting to see dick cheney get arrested. when we were when you think dick cheney got
a. jazz trainer june dressed as dick cheney got. to say dick cheney was noticeably absent and you finally got a citizen's arrest made on him like i have been hoping this whole time and as you know each living president was there and then you think about you know what they've been doing since they've been leaving office jimmy carter is in haiti working with his hands building houses for the poor bill clinton with his foundation in a recent interview bush actually revealed what he's been up to let's take a look at that. two or three hours a day i'm shooting here analyzing that time i have been trying to figure out if i can the next page to you what are you serious yeah i will permit resolution maybe a touch of. white i don't know this i. may be a little. dark and i can reflect the light properly. i'm sorry. is this is it started yet to respond and who says he lacks
cultural or cultural awareness or intellectual curiosity i mean i also i want to get to his painting by speaking about something else he said which he said that dick cheney and he don't speak anymore and i was thinking like that makes a lot of sense because if you think about it when they went up a pup a tear has a television show or a play or something and the play ends the puppets here doesn't keep speaking to the puppets in the green room like it's over that's you put the puppet down you move so what is the puppet do he goes to paint he goes to paint a speech in the back and himself looking somber in the shower is this a sign that bush is using painting as a therapy to reflect on all those were crimes he committed. yeah that's why it's all about the obvious trying to wash off the blood of innocent people i wonder if he's painting by numbers i mean it's just i can't wait to see is next series of shower paintings and you know the latest news i wanted to bring up is this infamous have first break up of course that
a hole that's editors just sprain everyone sitting down in a chain he's got off scot free you anything wrong but you don't really make an kelly on fox says that all these kids are just getting worked up for nothing let's hear he had to say about it. social pepper spray such as or injure eyes right i mean it's like a derivative of actual pepper it's a food product right. but i want to i want to see her sprayed with pepper spray during one of her broadcasts and see how well that goes right it's just it's just a condiment this is a common just i mean just eat it just spread all of your food every day making kelly a complete idiot thank you so much leek can always a pleasure to have you on they are making me laugh on this friday comedian activist creator of the moment of clarity web series thanks for having. me. so we've been hearing
a lot of news about syria lately talk of syrian president bashar al assad using chemical weapons which is drawing an airy parallel to the war drums leading up to the iraq war no doubt this is a disastrous situation where eighty thousand people of needlessly died in just the last two years and the tragedies occurring there certainly deserve the world's attention. however when the corporate media focuses so narrowly on one subject and usually signifies that there's a larger agenda play and that singular focus distracts us from so many other events unfolding in the world that are crying for our attention take for instance behind or government officials recently blocked a un torture investigator from visiting the country in the wake of a spike in anti-government protests it's the second time a visit has been cancelled by government forces who have been brutally crushing dissent across the nation since the protests broke out in early two thousand and eleven human rights groups have cited kidnappings and murders and thousands of
arrests at the hands of the regime the violence on the streets is all accompanied by several reports of torture being used against political prisoners however the corporate media has been mostly silent for that matter so is the u.s. government who relies on the behinds a willingness to host the u.s. navy's fifth fleet which serves to play strategic u.s. military pressure against countries like iran u.s. support of the brutal regime is the root of american double standards when it comes to addressing human rights abuses and another tragically overlooked story that continues to unfold is the persecution of rohingya muslims in burma since a second massacre took place last october the world has continued to ignore what more and more officials are referring to as a genocidal ethnic cleansing conservative estimates suggest that over one hundred twenty thousand people remain homeless after buddhist extremist. caused mass arson
violence and a string of massacres that resulted in at least two hundred rohingya muslims needlessly slaughtered unfortunately a media blackout in the country is helping the world to ignore the plight of a people who've been acquired by the un is the most persecuted minority group in the world. independent journalist assad begg my recently interviewed from the ground in rangoon i'm sorry in rangoon burma recently wrote about the woman who are being being taken hostage by the burmese government and there's growing evidence suggesting that the military is keeping these women as sex slaves it's important that more visibility is given to this crisis before countless other innocent people die. and finally i want to talk about guantanamo bay prison only ninety three of the prisoners were just more than half of the inmates at the prison camp have now joined a hunger strike that is reaching the end of its third month the source of the
frustration among detainees is the realization that congress and the obama administration have fully turned their backs on the idea that get motion be closed the detainees at the camp half of whom have a declared innocent and cleared for release are losing hope that they will ever be set free and they're literally killing themselves right now as a plea for help. to add insult to injury us corporate media has also conveniently taken the same position as obama choosing to look forward not backward on the crimes of the bush administration despite a sworn declaration obtained by truthout just recently from colonel warren's and will wilkerson said that bush cheney and rumsfeld all knew that the vast majority of prisoners at gitmo when in fact innocent they were afraid of the political repercussions of their bad judgment still the corporate news remains silent fact that more prisoners have died to get now and actually been convicted said in a truly troubling press. and for human rights standards of the us look these are
all examples of stories that you won't hear on the mainstream isn't stuck in the me a black hole so take these stories and share them and help me shine a light on this world of darkness. missions priests accreditation priests transport judges treat the maintenance free. three stooges high priests. the old free broadcast clothing video for your media projects