As the Senate begins its debate on the immigration reform bill, Democracy Now! speaks to Shena Gutierrez, whose husband was nearly killed in an encounter with Border Patrol agents. While still unconscious in the hospital, he was threatened with deportation. She explains what happened. Also joining the discussion, is Andrea Guerrero, co-chair of Southern Border Communities Coalition and executive director of Alliance San Diego.
Shena Gutierrez tells what happened to her husband when he encountered U.S. Border Patrol agents:
"Two years ago, March 30th—he was deported to Mexico March 21st. And, you know, he was desperate. You know, we have two young children. At the time, our son was two and a half; our daughter was only four months old. And our daughter was in the hospital. And he was deported, and he was just trying to figure out how to get back to us. March 30th, he attempted to cross back, and I lost contact with him that day. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday go by. By Saturday, I’m completely going insane, not knowing what happened, where he’s at, if he’s alive, if he’s OK. I mean, it just wasn’t like him to not call me and let me know what was going on.
Actress Daryl Hannah is no stranger to controversy, and with her new film, “Greedy Lying Bastards,” the noted celebrity activist is gearing up to take on conservatives and captains of the fossil fuel industry, who, the filmmakers say, have used their significant financial powers to lobby against the realities of climate change.
Hannah joins Michael Shure inside “The War Room” to discuss the film and the message behind it.
President Obama has directed the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence as part of his legislative package on gun control. The CDC hasn't pursued this kind of research since 1996 when the National Rifle Association lobbied Congress to cut funding for it, arguing that the studies were politicized and being used to promote gun control. We've interviewed Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who led the agency's gun violence research in the nineties when he was the director of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
We talked to Rosenberg about the work the agency was doing before funding was cut and how it's relevant to today's gun control debate. Here's an edited transcript.
There's been coverage recently about how Congress cut funding for gun violence research, but not much about what the agency was actually researching and what it was finding. You were in charge of that. Tell us a little bit about what the CDC was doing back then.
There were basically four questions that we were trying to answer. The first question is what is the problem? Who were the victims? Who was killed? Who were injured? Where did they happen? Under what circumstances? When? What times of the year? What times of the day? What was the relationship to other events? How did they happen? What were the weapons that were used? What was the relationship between the people involved? What was the motive or the setting in which they happened?
The second question is what are the causes? What are the things that increase one's risk of being shot? What are the things that decrease one's risk of being shot?
The third question we were trying to answer is what works to prevent these? What kinds of policies, what kinds of interventions, what kinds of police practices or medical practices or education and school practices actually might prevent some of these shootings? We're not just looking at mass shootings, but also looking at the bulk of the homicides that occur every year and the suicides, which account for a majority of all gun deaths.
Then the last question is how do you do it? Once you have a program or policy that has been proven to work in one place, how do you spread it? How do you actually put it in place?
So what were you were able to find before funding got cut off?
One of the critical studies that we supported was looking at the question of whether having a firearm in your home protects you or puts you at increased risk. This was a very important question because people who want to sell more guns say that having a gun in your home is the way to protect your family.
What the research showed was not only did having a firearm in your home not protect you, but it hugely increased the risk that someone in your family would die from a firearm homicide. It increased the risk almost 300 percent, almost three times as high.
It also showed that the risk that someone in your home would commit suicide went up. It went up five-fold if you had a gun in the home. These are huge, huge risks, and to just put that in perspective, we look at a risk that someone might get a heart attack or that they might get a certain type of cancer, and if that risk might be 20 percent greater, that may be enough to ban a certain drug or a certain product.
But in this case, we're talking about a risk not 20 percent, not 100 percent, not 200 percent, but almost 300 percent or 500 percent. These are huge, huge risks.
I understand there was also an effort to collect data on gun violence through something called the Firearm Injury Surveillance System. What did that involve?
We were collecting information to answer the question of who, what, where, when, and how did shootings occur?
We were finding that most homicides occur between people who know each other, people who are acquaintances or might be doing business together or might be living together. They're not stranger-on-stranger shootings. They're not mostly home intrusions.
We also found that there were a lot of firearm suicides, and in fact most firearm deaths are suicides. There were a lot of young people who were impulsive who were using guns to commit suicide.
So if you were able to continue this work, what kind of data do you think would be available today?
I think we'd know much more information about what sorts of weapons are used in what sorts of firearm deaths and injuries.
Hundreds of demonstrators swarmed the Capitol Hill office of the National Rifle Association on Monday to denounce the powerful lobby and push for new gun controls in response to Friday’s killing of 27 people, including 20 elementary school children, in Newtown, Connecticut.
Chanting “Shame on the NRA,” the protesters marched from Spirit of Justice Park to the NRA offices on First Street near the Capitol. After observing a moment of silence, the protesters read off the names of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. They then read model responses from an NRA questionnaire given to politicians in order to grade them on their adherence to the NRA’s policies.
"We're here today because the NRA has blood on its hands," said Josh Nelson, who helped organize the protest for CREDO Action, a liberal activist group.
“I'm protesting the NRA’s lobbying efforts to keep assault rifles in the hands of the American public and also for their campaigning against any common sense gun control measures,” said Jason Gooljar, of Arlington, Va.
He said he was among about 10 people who protested in front of the building after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., over the summer.
“I'm glad more people have shown up,” he said. “Unfortunately it takes an incident like this to get more people mobilized.”
“The National Rifle Association is a powerful lobby that purports to represent gun owners,” Becky Bond, political director of CREDO, said in a written statement. “But in reality, it represents the deadly interests of arms dealers and gun manufacturers. It’s time for the NRA’s top lobbyists to stand down and stop trying to prevent Congress from enacting sensible gun control laws that could save lives.”
President Obama announced on Wednesday that Vice President Biden would be leading the push for stricter gun laws. In a speech at the White House that coincided with some of the funerals for the victims of the Newtown school shooting, President Obama insisted that these attacks are “violence that we cannot accept as routine.” Obama said he would “urge Congress” to take on gun-control legislation no later than January, especially a return to the assault-weapons ban, which expired in 2004.
"Immigrants For Sale" is a ground-breaking online documentary series that goes inside the private immigrant detention industry, through the lens of those most impacted, the players behind the trade and the multi-billion dollar profits that fuel it all.
Immigrants are for sale in this country. Sold to private prison corporations who are locking them up for obscene profits!
Here are the top 3 things you need to know about the Private Prison money scheme:
The victims: Private prisons don't care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.
The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations—combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.
The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigrant laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates.
Network Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell kicked off the nine-state “Nuns on the Bus” tour at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Des Moines, Iowa. She spoke on the pressing need for solidarity in our society and the harm the House Republican budget would bring the vulnerable families.
In a spirited retort to the Vatican, a group of Roman Catholic nuns is planning a bus trip across nine states this month, stopping at homeless shelters, food pantries, schools and health care facilities run by nuns to highlight their work with the nation’s poor and disenfranchised.
The bus tour is a response to a blistering critique of American nuns released in April by the Vatican’s doctrinal office, which included the accusation that the nuns are outspoken on issues of social justice, but silent on other issues the church considers crucial: abortion and gay marriage.
The sisters plan to use the tour also to protest cuts in programs for the poor and working families in the federal budget that was passed by the House of Representatives and proposed by Representative Paul D. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who cited his Catholic faith to justify the cuts.
“We’re doing this because these are life issues,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a liberal social justice lobby in Washington. “And by lifting up the work of Catholic sisters, we will demonstrate the very programs and services that will be decimated by the House budget.”
The bus tour is to begin on June 18 in Iowa and end on July 2 in Virginia. The dates overlap with the “Fortnight for Freedom,” events announced by Catholic bishops to rally opposition to what they see as the Obama administration’s violations of religious freedom. The bishops object in particular to a mandate in the health care overhaul to require religiously affiliated hospitals and universities to offer their employees coverage for birth control in their insurance plans.
Sister Simone, a lawyer who ran a legal clinic for the poor in Oakland, Calif., for 18 years, is not completely on board with the bishops’ religious liberty campaign. She said that financing for Catholic social services had increased significantly in the three years since President Obama took office: “We’re celebrating the religious freedom we have.”
She recently spent time with the Iraqi Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine, and said: “If you want to talk about religious liberty, look at them. Their mother house was in Mosul until it got bombed.”
But the nuns do find common cause with the bishops on the budget cuts, and their bus tour will publicize letters the bishops recently sent protesting the budget. The nuns are inviting bishops whose dioceses they will pass through to join them. The tour will stop at local Congressional offices and lobby along the way.
Network, where Sister Simone and two other nuns serve on a staff of nine, was singled out in the Vatican’s recent critique of the nuns. The critique focused on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group for leaders of about 80 percent of women’s orders.
Network is not formally affiliated with the Leadership Conference. But Sister Simone and other nuns angered some bishops by lobbying to help pass the Obama administration’s health care overhaul. The Vatican document criticized nuns for challenging bishops, “who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”
The tour, “Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness,” includes stops in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The bus, with a sound system, signs and a podium, will seat only 12, and Sister Simone said she had had to turn away many would-be riders.
A rotating group will be on board, including Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Daughters of Charity and the Sisters of Social Service, Sister Simone’s order. They plan to sleep at mother houses of the religious orders
Join LA CAN, Occupy the Hood, Occupy Skid Row and Occupy Los Angeles at Wilshire/Hope (626 Wilshire Blvd.) at 8:30pm tonight to fight gentrification and the corrupt practices of the lobby group Central City Association. BRING TENT.
We are peacefully gathering to protest the Economic Development Meeting and the downtown 2020 plan to build new high rises, the AEG Stadium and further criminalize and push out the homeless. The CCA is the localized manifestation and microcosm of everything wrong with policy, the 1% and obsession with wealth and prestige. In this hyper-localized resistance, everyone must fight the bully in their respective backyards, as a community.
We have power in numbers and will be OCCUPYING the CCA, who monitors the public spaces of downtown with private security for the one percent. Red shirt, green shirt, purple shirt, police all working together to criminalize the homeless, communities of color and more recently, to patrol protesters in the area.
With its comfy sofas, kitchen and sunlit windows, the brick building at 5900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit that opened this year could pass for a spacious café.
But a banner high on the wall that reads "We are the 99%" signifies this is a different type of place, one that's become the center for activists in metro Detroit. After leaving their encampment in Grand Circus Park in November, Occupy Detroit has found a new home in the heart of southwest Detroit.
Across the street from a grocery store, the two-floor 12,000-square-foot building with a tall ceiling was refurbished by activists and is a striking symbol of the movement's attempts to establish a solid base in the region for its activities. "OCCUPY," it reads on the windowpanes outside.
Which federal program took in more than it spent last year, added $95 billion to its surplus and lifted 20 million Americans of all ages out of poverty? Why, Social Security, of course...
Tom Morello, Worldwide Rebel Tour, performing "Night Watchman."
Tom Morello has done it again. Always looking to support the Occupy Movement in one way or another, he has now released a free 30-minute documentary , (did I mention it's free?) in celebration of May Day. Directed by Bobby Roth and filmed at Henson Studios in Los Angeles last August, the film features interviews with Morello juxtaposed with live performances of “Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine,” “Save The Hammer For The Man,” “It Begins Tonight,” and “World Wide Rebel Songs.” The film is sure to inspire fans both in and out of the Occupy Movement.
The Rage Against The Machine star has been one of the most fervent supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began in New York last year (11), and has traveled across the U.S. and Canada, and even to London to perform for demonstrators calling for an end to corporate greed.
He also led hundreds of protesters in a musical march through the streets of the Big Apple on May Day (01May12) for the so-called Occupy Guitarmy event, and his campaign work earned him special recognition for public service at the 2012 Hillman Prizes ceremony.
Morello was presented with the award by singer and fellow civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, Jr. at the prizegiving in New York on Tuesday night (01May12), but the rocker admitted he didn't think he'd make it to the event when Occupy demonstrators clashed with police earlier that day.
From ThinkProgress: Wall Street CEOs Personally Lobby Federal Reserve To Weaken New Financial Regulations.
The infamous superlobby/moneyed conservative front group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) counts hundreds of corporations among its membership, including UPS, Wal-Mart, Time Warner Cable, United Healthcare and Monsanto, among many others. On February 29, dubbed Shut Down the Corporations day, Occupy Portland was determined to haunt them all. Watch this video and slip into the May Day mindset.