tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN September 8, 2014 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
>> speaker, i would like to associate myself with the comments of the prime minister about the sad news about jim doban. there is very particular concern about the hostage. what more can the prime minister say about the support for david's family in scotland and croatia? >> it is obviously a tragic situation. one only has to think for a few moments of what it would be like to be in his position or his family's position to understand what they are going through. what i tried to make sure in all of these situations is that the family gets support from a police liaison officer and from the foreign office and always offered that ministers speak directly to the hostage's family to tell them about the efforts being made on their behalf.
we do have historically a policy not to pay ransoms when there are terrorist kidnaps involved. i made that point at the nato dinner and pleaded with other countries to do the same thing. no one should interrupt that as us not doing everything we can to help the family and the hostage themselves. >> mr. speaker, would my right honorable friend accept to me that the country would be delighted to see a nato restored and vigorous after the summit? what the prime minister tell what assistance specifically he is looking for from the sunni gulf states which assume the coalition will find it hard going. >> what was instrument is it was one of resolution and unity and
purpose. there were none of the sort of debates that you might have had on previous discussions about iraq. there was real unity about what needed to be done. part of that unity was not just the iraqi government but the support and active support going to be needed by the regional players, in particular sunni countries that not only can provide resources, diplomacy, aid and military support but also can provide real insights and input into the thinking of the sunni tribes in iraq who we need to rise up against this appalling regime. >> the action plan which will enable nato to respond with greater force and greater speed in the dire emergency providing the 28 member states are able to give political authority for its use quickly. in the bad old days of the cold war the similar ace mobile force
gave preauthority to use it in dire emergency. if there is question of preauthority given to use the action plan will the prime minister bring that proposal to the house for debate? >> the short answer is yes i will. the detail will contribute to how exactly it will work. the reggen s of it is decided. can i take a moment to thank him for his contribution. he spoke as head of the nato parliamentary assembly with great clarity and support for what nato is doing. >> what my right honorable from mid sussex just asked may i draw the prime minister's attention to an article on the 5th of september where he said
deploying the western military without a muslim political plan would be folly. what approach will we be taking to saudi arabia which has a habit of looking both ways on these questions and where the government appears to be friendly but sources inside saudi arabia supply funds to organizati organizations? >> certainly look at the article that my honorable friend mentions. it is sometimes hard to keep up with contributions that retired military figures are giving in terms of advice. the point he makes is absolutely right. were there to be a military element to the strategy it would only work if it is in conjunction with all of the other parts of the strategy. you cannot intervene over the heads of local people and leave them to pick up the pieces. it has to be a part of a strategy and plan.
>> as the prime minister knows, during his discussion with president hollande was the crisis -- in dealing with our juxtaposed borders? will he ask the home secretary to visit france at the earliest opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions to end this crisis including, of course, giving them the fence we used at the cardiff summit. >> the offer of the use of the fence is there and it was a very effective piece of equipment. these discussions are taking place at every level. i don't think it is fair to say britain is unengaged in this. we need to work very closely together to make sure that the appalling keens are unrepeated. >> does the prime minister have
time to discuss the implications of scottish secession upon the defense of the rest of the united kingdom and the potential threat. in these very, very seriously troubled times that surely england, wales, northern ireland and scotland would be infinitely better defended. >> a number of people raise concerns about the referendum and the overwhelming view of people who wish our country well is to say of course it is a decision for people in scotland but they hope we stay together. i would absolutely echo that. there are two visions of scotland's future being put forward here. the vision i believe in and i believe the majority of scots believe in is of a proud and strong scotland with strong
institutions with a powerful place in the world in part secured by its membership of the united kingdom. the alternative vision of separation and such uncertainty about these organizations not knowing whether you would have a place in the european union or nato or what currency you would use, these are real problems of uncertainty. and i believe that the patriotic choice for scotland is a strong proud scotland within the united kingdom. >> speaker, can i echo the prime minister's words about jim dobbin. we both discussed the scottish situation. his death has come to all of us as a great shock. president obama will set out his strategy for dealing with isis on wednesday. if it seems likely that military action is part of that strategy,
if the uk government makes a decision to join in that military action, even if that decision is restricted to action in the air and not forces on the ground, does the prime minister believe that that would require a vote from this house? >> the short answer to that question is yes, but we are not at that stage yet. as i said on friday i think we should be building this comprehensive strategy. we are already helping the kurds, delivering them arms. i think we should step up to training and increasing elements of the strategy. i have always believed in this role. as leader of the government you should consult with house of commons as regularly as you can and house of commons should have the opportunity to vote. the point i always make and this is not to run away from his particular scenario in any way but it is important that a prime
minister in a government reserve the right to act swiftly without resulting commons in advance for specific circumstances if you have to prevent an immediate humanitarian catastrophe or secure really important unique interest. other than that it is right to consult the house of commons. >> can i ask if the discussion that was just advanced between parliamentary consent and the need for sometimes swift action does it underline the need for proper legislative framework to actually govern this nation's engagement in military action overseas? >> that has been an interesting issue of debate. we haven't come up i think with the final answer on that. i think there are problems with trying to write down every scenario into a law of the land. i think the convention that has
grown up that is as so clear in this house that the house of commons should be consulted and a vote should be taken. i think the convention has grown up and understood on all sides of the house. my personal view is that might be better than trying to write everything down in some document that can create all sorts of legal problems of its own. >> given the debate in the nato summit and the wider context of uk foreign policy. can i ask if it can be shown elements of the defense capability recently removed that we now might require in the near future would the prime minister consider reinstating that lost capability? >> i always have an open mind on these issues. i would say to the honorable gentleman that in the last four years i have often wanted to see even more of the capabilities that we have been ordering,
intelligence, surveillance, special forces, transport, rather than more of the things which we have got rid of or discontinued. it is actually my instinct is that defense reviews are vital but only if you make bold decisions about future capabilities rather than hang on to old ones with dated uses. >> can i commend the prime minister for the confidence he showed in wales by bringing the nato summit to new port. it was the biggest international event of its kind ever held in this country and clearly a resounding success. does he agree with me that what is now important is that wales should capitalize on its international attention by insuring that the international investment conference can take place in november as an equal success. >> i am grateful to my right honorable friend's comments. i think all the organizations
did a brilliant job. there was something like 24,000 hotel room nights that were required, not just in wales but in the other side of bristol channel. summit. i think there is a legacy in making sure young people in our country understand the importance of nato and the importance of defense. >> perhaps the best way to honor the memory of jim dobbin is to ensure the continuation of the fine work he
importance to get business opportunities to newport, wales and the united kingdom. what will you do to ensure that is an equal success? >> this is it, i agree with what he said about the importance to addiction to prescription drugs. i think it did put an important face forward. there are traffic problems and disruption. i hope people were incredibly reasonable about that and very, very welcoming including the local media to everyone who came. securing the legacy is about
supporting the investment conference and making sure we maintain a pro business environment inside wales. >> growing parliament convention the house being consulted given the vote for all overseas deployments. the nato force that is described would be deployed in two days and presumably no possibility of a vote. and secondly, the only occasions in which this house voted on war one was iraq in 2003. would the prime minister not agree with me that there ought not be serious thought given into what the role it has when it comes to deploying our groups overseas? >> i hear what my honorable friend says. i would say the convention if there is a premeditated action undertaken whether the war in
iraq or the view that i had that it was right to consider action in response to the use of chemical weapons in syria. whether that is a premeditated decision by the government it is right to consult and have a vote in the house of commons. i don't think you need to write it down. it is on book of rules. there are times where very rapid decisions have to be taken. i think the house of commons understands that when that happens as was the case with libya you make a decision and come back to the house to explain yourself afterwards. >> can the prime minister clarify the position in regards to arming the kurds and said in a statement we will continue to support the kurds. he said both supplying weaponry from other countries and potentially arming them directly. is he now saying we are arming
the kurds which i would welcome? and what weaponry are we going to give them? >> the short answer to that is yes. up until now we have helped revive the kurds with weapons so we transported some weapons for instance from albania to the kurds using our transport planes fitted with the weaponry that had been used -- as the germans and others will. and also with allies we think it is right to step up our training and mentoring efforts. we said we would be willing if they would like to train a battalion of fighters because they are doing such a vital job of holding back isis. that is we as in we the united kingdom rather than we as in nato. >> the nato summit absolutely right to stress the importance of strong defense.
given recent critical reports from the nao and public accounts committee and very disappointing reserve recruitment figures creating the risk of capability gaps has the time not come for the prime minister to reconsider the government's army reforms? >> the short answer to that is i don't think it would be right to reconsider the reforms. over the last year 3,200 people joined the army reserve. i'm confident that we are going to see good recruitment figures. it is a major change that we are putting in place. the bigger point i make to my honorable friend is when we consider the sorts of things that we are contemplating doing whether it is helping the nigerian government overcome their problems or what we did in libya or the sorts of things we are doing in iraq, what we need more of is intelligence, surveillance, special forces,
mobility, assets and equipment that can be used with partners rather than necessarily and also armed forces who have no extra equipment needs because they got everything they want. it is that required rather than very large numbers of people involved in any of the services. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i associate myself and colleague with the tribute made. and jim, of course, for me will be remembered greatly for his strength of opinion in particular and strongly with me as an islander. can i also associate myself with the comments of the prime minister that he is not expecting [ inaudible ] from the pope. he is not the only one.
[ laughter ] turning to the military covenant of the armed forces, the prime minister will know that northern ireland is recruiting ground for her majesty's forces and matter. will he go the extra mile and ensure that they do more to make sure it is honored in every single regard? >> i think the honorable gentleman makes an important point. i have discussed this with the first minister. it is important that we look over armed forces and i hope progress can be made on that. local counsels are able to take up the community covenant and make sure they are acting in a way that supports and many will be able to do that. as for his remarks about the --
i assume it might be something that cascaded down to generations but obviously not. >> the house will share the prime minister's concerns about the situation in ukraine and in particular his description of president putin's action as indefensible and illegal. at meeting with other leaders did they come to conclusions about the aims for russia and president putin and what action might be taken if he continues to pursue those aims? >> what i say to my right honorable friend is i think the aid of russia is to deny the people of ukraine the legitimate choice to be closer to the european union and have an association agreement with it. and what we need to do is to say very reasonably to president
putin he cannot overstate the will of people. he cannot use force to stop these people choosing their own future. and i think that is why we should measure, as i said, our response to russian action not in a military response through nato or through ukraine but in raising pressure on sanctions saying to russia if she continues with this path she will suffer economic ultimately russia needs america and the european union. >> thank you, mr. speaker. to the answer that the prime minister has just given it is quite clear that ultimately we will need to move to a political process with the russians. i wonder if the prime minister could say what support nato and the united kingdom have given to president poreshenko is developing political dialogue with russians? >> good question.
the support we are giving is to say to him that of course a cease-fire is the first stage. what is required is a proper peace plan. there was a 12-point plan sent out. we give him our support by saying we will do everything we can to engage with russia. of course, it has to include getting russian soldiers out of ukraine and ukraine being able to determine her own future. there is a number of concerns that russia has about the treatment of, say, russian minorities inside ukraine and their rights which is perfectly legitimate to be discussed. >> speaker, may i add a tribute to jim dobbin who worked tirelessly for vulnerable people in the tropics in particularly for tropical disease and pneumococcal disease.
as regards combatting isil and welcoming the statement of the prime minister about the unity of approach of development of governments and of security at the same time can i urge him as he has indicated to really put these arguments forward as an example of nato sharing the united way in the united nations in the upcoming meetings. that is one of the great lessons we learned from the rapid reaction dealt most successfully. >> i think there are good lessons because there was proper concentration on the importance of the political process toall l as political action taken. he is right to stress the importance of the united nations as a way for building support and legitimacy for what needs to
be done. >> would the prime minister agree and the reason most of us support nato is not because we are war wanters but we want to prevent war. the stronger and more strategic would be the better. that was very good news from newport as long as it is carried through when we check the members of nato deliver. did you think it is strange that every report that i read of president obama and anyone else stipulated there should be no boots on the ground? isn't that strange coming from nato? >> first of all, let me agree with right honorable friend. nato is a defensive alliance and that is the heart of its success. it has to think now more about the threats that come from outside europe in terms of terrorism, cyber attacks and the rest which may require more activism. on his remarks on boots on the ground, of course, in order to,
as i put it, squeeze isil out of existence there will have to be boots on the ground but it should be iraqi boots. it is their country. what can we do to help those boots on the ground rather than put our own there. >> absence from commitment to and formation of an international strategy to destroy islamic state of any of russia, turkey, saudi arabia and iran will probably fatally destruct a strategy. >> my honorable friend makes a good point. of course, the turkish president who had quite extensive talks was there and like everyone else is extremely worried about the creation of this state on his door step not at least because of the appalling kidnaps that have taken place because of such a large number of turkish
personnel. i think where he is right is obviously discussions have to be held with regional partners and players to make sure the strongest possible squeeze can be put on this organization. >> west into afghanistan and iraq 11 years ago and now a massive nato summit agrees to spend yet more money on defense all around the world. what consideration is given as to why there has been such an increase in terrorism since those two wars? why isil has grown at such a big force. should the nato summit and all leaders looking at the causes of war and the perception of the role of the west in seeking commercial advantage all around the world rather than bequeathing yet more military expenditure? >> let me try to find common ground with the honorable
gentleman. i believe that international aid and development is a very important tool not just to helping people out of poverty but demonstrating the compassion and generosity of the west and helping people who are less fortunate than we are. where i think he is wrong is that i think that you have to understand that a cause, a fundamental cause of the extremism and terrorism we saw with al qaeda in afghanistan and we see with isil in syria and iraq, a fundamental cause of that is this poisonous ideology of islamic extremism. we see people joining it who bought into this perverted world view and irrespective of what we might think of them they are clear that they want to kill us. speaker, is the prime minister satisfied that all of our nato allies are themselves taking sanctions against russia
and particularly, is he concerned about the role of turkey which doesn't seem to be taking sanctions and indeed is undermining or alleged to be undermining some of the sanctions which we are taking? >> i think my honorable friend makes an important point which is that the eu has decided and implemented sanctions and so has the u.s&%
say the traditional are more threatened with extinction now than any time. >> i think my right honorable friend is right to speak of communities in the area. i would like to draw attention to the role of religious leaders and religious communities. it has been heartening to see how many muslim leaders condemned isil and said these people are not acting in our name and gone viral with burning the isil flag. thoroughly worth while to people across religious communities to condemn this organization. >> the prime minister in response to the members from mid sussex confirm the response to isil has to involve regional governments more effectively. in view of the fact that british military trained many people in
those governments and certainly in the military of the countries, what is our army doing to make sure their counter parts are on board with this? >> i think that the honorable lady makes the point which is we have good relations with, for instance the saudi military. many of them have trained here along side our armed forces. we should maximize that defense engagement and that should be a part of the comprehensive plan put in place to work with them to squeeze this organization. one of the things we decided at nato was we needed to do more to build the capability of these militaries because increasingly in our dangerous world we are confronting problems whether in syria or mali or somalia where it would be good if the regional players had the military capabilities to better deal with the problems with our assistance
and help but not always with our direct interaction. >> jim dobbin campaigned with gentle tenacity about the plight of minority christian groups in the middle east. when pope francis has indicated he supports limited intervention to stop the massacre of the innocent can i press on the two previous questions he has been asked about saudi arabia? saudi arabia is allegedly our ally. we train them and supply them with military wares. can my right honorable friend tell me specifically what interventions he and his foreign secretary have made with the saudi government to ask if they are part of the solution in what is their backyard? >> certainly engagement taking place. i myself spoke to the king of saudi arabia about how we should best work together to confront this threat. they see it very much as a threat to themselves.
apparently the secretary of state is currently in the region and talking to a number of important regional players and it is a process that needs to continue. >> what support is being provided to iraq to ensure the country has an inclusive and strong government to tackle its national threats? also, the resources to support the safety of citizens in war zones particularly women and children with the report of appalling sexual violence being perpetrated by isil? >> take the second part of the honorable lady's question first. working with others to build refugee camps and help those people to safety. that is the role of people being persecuted. in terms of working with the iraqi government we have a full blown embassy engaged in that work. we are doing more.
but the crucial decision needs to be made by the iraqi leaders themselves that the time to end politics and looking after and forming proper government that includes sunni and kurd. >> in light of russia's destabilization actors can i ask the prime minister to improving cyber and the implications to article 5. >> this was an issue that was discussed because clearly there have been very vicious cyber attacks that have been carried out on nato members and no good if you can't address the threats which is the ability to people -- it is an important part of the work that we do.
britain has particular expertise in this area. >> also convey my shock at the loss of our friend. his daughter lives in cardiff and he never missed an opportunity to tell me how proud he was of his grand sons and their achievements. would he comment on the question i think my friend was trying to get out which is, is he guaranteed the uk to fall below the 2% target next year? >> first of all, can i thank the gentleman for accurately reminding me that i should include cardiff city ciouncil. they did a good job.
i am very grateful for everything that they did. on the 2% we meet the 2%. we have under this government the new targets, very clearly set out in the document. they put a particular emphasis on those people not currently at 2% but all parties in this house will have to set out spending plans including for defense. >> commitment to invest more money to equip armed forces. should they decide -- build future nato ships rather than to continue to build them in what is a foreign country? >> i, of course, my honorable friend loses no opportunity to discuss -- let me say as prime minister to our armed forces every part of the united kingdom when you think of the
magnificent service of the scottish regiments. you think of the expertise of those who built incredible warships in scotland and the aircraft carriers. it is the contributions of all parts of the united kingdom to have a defense budget one of the top five in the world and armed forces that are the envy of the world. my argument would be not just scotland benefits from being a part of this but scotland -- a unique around the world. >> may i add my tribute, as well, to colleague and friend, jim dobbin. he has been very supportive since i come into the house in 2010. he will be greatly missed. on flight mh-17 saw two murdered along with 296 innocent passengers.
what specific discussions did the prime minister have with nato colleagues about insuring that this is brought to justice? >> of her majesty's armed forces? >> i don't want to see further reductions in for instance the size of our army. we had to take difficult decisions going to a regular force of 82,000 and a larger reserve force. i don't want to see further
changes to that. as i said in answer to a question earlier what matters most of all is having armed forces that you're confident to use because you know you have the most modern equipment and you will never send soldiers into a difficult situation with substandard equipment. we have been able to make sure they got the very best equipment with the vehicle to come because it is that that is absolutely crucial. >> can i thank the prime minister for his kind contribute to our friend, jim dobbin who was a greatly respected member of both labor and cooperative movements in greater manchester and will be missed. i was interested in what the prime minister had to say in his statement about the new exercises in eastern europe. given that nato's permanent bases are historically probably located in what is now the part
of europe. without tensions on nato's eastern flank, what decisions were had at the nato summit about where nato's permanent bases ought to be located in the future to face the challenges of the future? >> the honorable gentleman is absolutely right to make this point. part of the action plan is that there should be the pre-positioning of equipment and better use of bases in central and eastern europe. he will see from the detail of the declaration that is anticipated by this nato conference. >> we have always been told the more we spend on overseas aid the more it would enhance our security. the more we have been spending on overseas aid we have had our security threat level raised. that has been shown to be -- can i ask the prime minister to divert the money from the overseas aid budget and give much needed additional resources
to armed forces and security forces to help keep us safe in these dangerous times? >> i don't think it is quite right to make that correlation. i would argue that had we not put money into, for instance, stabilizing somalia, stabilizing afghanistan, helping to stabilize countries like pakistan we would see more pressures of asylum seeking and migration and greater problems with drugs and terrorism. the question we have to get right is the correct balance between the box. i would argue it helps to keep us safe. >> mr. speaker, the nato summit showed how vital nato still is. i thought it was good to see playing a small role in the logistics and i welcome the prime minister's statement. as part of the security discussions did members discuss the role of foreign in our
mosques. they preach in the context of understanding britain and our values. this isn't always the case with foreign imams it is believed it is time to tighten the -- >> what matters most of all is that imams are able to communicate to constituents in english and up to date with how to help young people and divert them away from these extremist preachers that they find online. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can i pay tribute to jim dobbin. i appreciated his expertise and shared passion for infrastructure and transport. very much welcome the news of the full commissioning of the
hms prince of wales. could he take this opportunity my right honorable friend to debunk this myth that carrier force won't have the aircraft they need and confirm full commitment to the f 35 lightning 2 to provide aircraft to queen elizabeth and prince of wales. >> the point is that we will have fighters on these aircraft carriers as well as, of course, vital attack and other helicopters. there will be platforms of real power. the announcement i made about making sure both are commissioned means that at any time we will always have a carrier available. i think that really does strengthen the defense capabilities of the country. i chair on georgia where the prime minister referred to nato good gbeginning capacity
missions. i wonder could he say something more about the enhanced partnership to put georgia along side finland and sweden and how this will help them particularly defense minister's exceptional work to marginalize armed forces. >> i think there are various elements to it. first of all, the fact that there will be a defense capability building mission in georgia is very significant and will help georgiaens modernize and build up armed forces. it is worth noting that a lot of this is being done because of the real contribution that georgia has done not least to the forces in afghanistan where they took on very difficult work and paid a high price for them enter in terms of casualties. one of the strongest partners nato has and i'm sure this mission will be much welcomed. >> i think it is reasonable to regard the defense budget of our
country as an insurance policy for its security. and nato as a group insurance policy. but what is clear is that all nato members wish to enjoy the security that is given of membership and not always to pay the premiums. does he agree with me that now is the time to step up to the plate and increase defense spending to 2% along with nato guidelines? >> i think my honorable friend puts it in a good way. in order to support the collective security you have to pay in. the germans don't tend to sign things unless they have read the small print. i know chancellor merkel would look at this closely. they have to hold any decline in the defense expenditure. >> mr. speaker, can i associate myself with the remarks made about the late jim dobbin.
he was my parliamentary neighbor and he was a man of faith and a man of great principle and decency. mr. speaker, in an increasingly dangerous and uncertain world does the prime minister agree our 27 allies in nato provide a better guarantee of safety and security for the british people than could be provided by the other 27 members of the european uni union? >> the point i would make to my honorable friend is there are two quite different organizations. nato is about defense and collective security. if you like we signed away a bit of our sovereignty to nato that we pledged to go to and defend anyone who is attacked. the core purpose is about securing our prosperity and making sure that we can trade freely with our 27 partners. >> james morris. >> would the prime minister
agree that in considering defense equipment increases across nato we should give equal wait to cooperation of cyber defense and cyber attack because that is an important area of theater in the future particularly in relation to russia and other countries? >> i agree my honorable friend. you mentioned cyber defense and cyber attack. if we believe in deterants in the field of nuclear power and conventional forces we should apply the same logic to cyber warfare, too. >> thank you, mr. speaker. with regards to achieving a secure, stable democratic afghanistan does the prime minister agree with me that it would be helpful to have a secure democratic successful pakistan? with that being the case does the prime minister agree with me that the united kingdom would support a democratically elected government in pakistan and not those trying to derail that
government taking into account recent events? >> we should be friends of a democratic pakistan. i think it is good. there has been a transition from one democratically elected government to another democratically elected government. we should be encouraging that process. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my honorable friend for the work he has done in nato to ensure strategy to deal with isis. does my honorable friend agree that it is a beacon of democracy and replace religious tolerance in iraq. as well as supporting in the short term does he not agree that in the long term needs to continue political military and humanitarian support given its status? was there discussion in nato also about iran's capabilities? >> this meeting was spent more
time on isil and ukraine and other elements rather than iranian nuclear issue. in terms of what he says about the kurdish regional authority of course we should support them and i very much admire what they have done in terms of protecting minorities and fostering democracy. i think we should be supporting them as part of trying to build a pleuristic and democratic iraq. i think it is vital that we see them as part of that country. >> both greece and turkey are members of nato and were at the weekend summit. was it made clear to turkey that it needs to secure border to prevent flow. was it made clear to greece that as its border is the weakest part of the front here it must secure its border against the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants making their way into
the european union trying to make their way on the ferries to our shores? >> mow my honorable friend makes points i agree turkish border issue, i discussed this with president erdahan. they're looking at a range of military security to help to that end. there is a real problem with europe's external border. greece border being one, where people are coming into europe to claim asylum. instead of claiming asylum in the first country they arrive in, which is what they out to do, they are making their way to cali to try to come to the uk. we need external borders secured but everyone to properly implement the rules. >> mr. vickers. >> thank you, mr. speaker. though the british people united in their opposition to terrorism, their determination to overcome it, they remain somewhat nervous about possible military involvement unless there are clear -- there is a
clear link to our own security. i welcome the approach of my honorable friend particularly when he says you will approach things with a careful and methodical move to a comprehensive plan. can you assure the house you'll be equally careful and methodical to ensure the full support of the british people? >> i will try to be careful and methodical about everything i do. the point i'd make, even today to the british people, is be in no doubt about the threat so-called islamic state poses to us here in the united kingdom. we've already seen something like six planned attacks in the countries of the european union from isil including, of course, that appalling attack in the brussels jewish museum where innocent people were killed. that throws directly from this organization. they kidnap people. they've got ransom payments, made tens of millions from that. they have the weapons resources and oils of a state and using
some of that money directly to target people in this country and across the european union. we have to be fully cognizant of that fact. there is no option to look away, to put your head in the sand, to hope that this would all go away only if you didn't get involved. the fact is, we are involved because they have decided to target us. that needs to be the beginning of the conversation that we have. >> point of order, mr. charles walker. >> over the weekend i was picketed with the court service. while recognizing -- >> we're going to leave the british parliament as they continue on with other business. just a reminder, can you watch prime minister cameron's statement from this morning any time. we'll have that in our video library at c-span.org. and prime minister's question time airs live this wednesday, 7 a.m. eastern, on our companion network, c-span2. a look at congress today returning following five-week
summer recess. senate beginning with period of morning business, and then jill pryor to be judge on 11th circuit as well as procedural vote on limiting campaign contributions and federal spending. the house will be debating 21 bills under suspension of the rules, including post office naming bills and one that would boost federal penalties for convicted identity thieves. we'll have a series of votes later after 6:30 today. can you watch live coverage of the senate on c-span2 and the house on c-span. and elsewhere on capitol hill today, the house rules committee will take up two bills before returning to the house floor. one would restrict the epa's attempt to define which waters it regulates under the clean water act and another condemns president obama for not giving congress advance notice of the bergdahl/taliban five prisoner exchange right here on c-span3. tonight on "the
communicators," former federal communications commissioners michael cobbs and robert mcdowell discuss merger proposals and several other issues before the fcc. >> issue with consolidation is you have huge companies who are not only in control of distribution, but of content, too, increasingly. they're getting hammerlock on news and information inf infrastructure we as a democracy rely upon to govern ourselves. >> the adoption of smartphones is faster in minority communities than it is in suburban affluent, white communities. and that is fantastic news for america. you're seeing the developing world adopt such technologies very, very rapidly. that's fantastic news for improving the human condition. for allowing people to have the benefit of new information, change their political expectations, economic expectations in a positive way. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on
"the communicators" on c-span2. in the restaurant and bookstore busboys and poets in washington, d.c. recently held a town hall forum discussing the implications of ferguson, missouri, shooting. some include barbara arnwine, hilary shelton, former national black police association executive director ron hampton and institute of the black world president ron daniels. comedienne dick gregory and actor danny glover also provided remarks. this is about two hours. >> good evening. good evening, ladies and gentlemens, sisters and brothers. my name is done rojas, i'm the director of communications for the institute of the black world. i'll be the moderator for the
town hall meeting which we billed ferguson and beyond. an open discussion on the crisis of race relations in america today. on behalf of the institute of the black world, sponsor of tonight's event and our co-sponsors, a continuing talk on race series, busboys and poets and the institute of policy studies of progressive think tank based here in washington, d.c. it is my pleasure and honor to extend to you all a warm welcome to this famous d.c. landmark, busboys and poets. [ applause ] a unique place that combines good food for the palate with great food for thought. i want to extend a special welcome to all those in the audience who joined us from a pretest earlier today at the justice department across town and who marched from justice to be with us here at busboys tonight.
special greetings also to those across the country and around the world, watching this event live on c-span and on the internet via ibw's webcast and to those across the metropolitan d.c. region listening to pacifica radio broadcast as well as those listening via sirius satellite radio on brother mark thompson's "making it real" program, and also to cable television viewers in cambridge, massachusetts. the institute of the black world has invited a stellar group of civil and human rights leaders, legal experts, youth activists, grassroots community activists and religious leaders to be among the panelists and the respondents at this town hall meeting. i want to welcome them all and thank them for accepting the invitation.
soon you'll hear from them as we move into the discussion and dialogue part of tonight's program. first, i want to bring on a righteous brother and a dear friend, who will personally welcome you to his house. he is an artist, an activist, a prominent civic leader in the d.c. area. and on top of all of that, a very successful entrepreneur who has built a franchise of three thriving busboys establishments and is about to open two more very soon here in the d.c. metro area. i'm speaking about none other than andy shallal, the owner of busboys and poets. let's give it up for andy. >> good evening, everyone. and i know that you all have friends that you haven't seen probably for a while. it's a sad time we have to come together to do this, but it's also an important time and really a joyful time in many ways. so, please, if you could take a
moment to just say, i'm not going to talk to you till the end of the program to your friend standing next to you. let them know that, please. you'll have plenty of time to reconnect afterwards. we are here till past midnight, you're welcome to last here. please, if you don't mind, just give us your undivided attention for the next few moments. on behalf of the front of the house staff and the back of the house staff of busboys and poets, i would like to welcome you all to this missouro moment ferguson town hall. when we opened busboys and poets we wanted race relations consciously uplifted. if you ever wonder what it looks like. this is what it looks like. i want you to turn to the person next to you and give them a hug.
we're also a place where art, culture and politics come together, intentionally collide. part of this art and culture, i want to bring up to open up the program for us, none other than ayanna gregory. give her a welcome, please. ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes ♪ ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪
♪ no no no no ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes ♪ ♪ oh freedom oh freedom ♪ ♪ oh freedom over me ♪ ♪ and before i be a slave ♪ ♪ i be buried in my grave ♪ ♪ and go home to my lord and be free ♪ >> this is a freedom song meant to go around the world. critical time everywhere in the world ♪ ♪ wake up wake up because we stand at war ♪ ♪ ask yourself what are you living for ♪ ♪ today we really living in some trouble some times ♪ ♪ the truth has been hidden ♪ there's a war on our minds the values they gave we have internalized ♪ ♪ oppression so deep we are desensitized ♪
♪ as we stand in the final hour you can't afford to give away your power ♪ ♪ don't sleep off the lies ♪ they tell ♪ they think you're going to fall but they don't know you well ♪ ♪ earth is going to tremble you stand your ground and when your strength is found ♪ ♪ i realize the battle is hard but we're going to go to war with the honor god ♪ ♪ rebirth the world ready to be free ♪ ♪ dream a life beyond what you see ♪ ♪ and finally become what you were meant to be ♪ ♪ worry is rise ♪ i see the fire in your eyes take back your life take back your life ♪ ♪ worry is rise ♪ i see the fire in your eyes ♪ take back your life take back your life ♪ >> thank you. >> all right. [ applause ] >> ayanna gregory. so, when we first started
thinking of this brain child, it was -- it was don rojas from black world and ron daniels who said, let's do a town hall meeting. we decided to do it on may the -- i mean, august 27th. he told me this about eight days ago. somebody said to me, eight days is a long time. by then people are going to forget about this and they're going to move on. they're not going to remember this. but i want to thank the people of ferguson. i want to thank all of you for being part of this, for making sure we will not forget. for making sure we will let the police know it's not all right to be militarized. that our police departments are not dumping grounds for the pentagon. that we are sick and tired of institutionalized racism. we are sick and tired -- we are sick and tired of being eavesdropped on, being spied on, being marginalized throughout
the world. not just in ferguson, but everywhere. but ferguson is the rallying cry we've all come around. i want to thank the people of ferguson. i want to thank all of you. i want to thank mike brown. may he rest in peace. for making this all possible. for bringing us all together. for giving us this wake-up call and saying, we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. so, i know that you're all sick and tired of being sick and tired. you're in great company for that. so welcome. welcome to the club of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. we will not rest. we will not stop. this will not go away. like many other things that have gone away. this will continue. we will continue on the struggle. we will continue on the struggle till we have peace and justice because if you don't have justice, there is no way to have peace. and even though, even though the mike brown was not the first brown person who's been killed by the police, i want all of you to take a vow. turn to the person next to you
and say, he will be the last one. he will be the last one ever that will be shot by the police. so, that said, i look forward to having this wonderful conversation with you. thank you all for being here. >> thank you. thank you very much, brother andy shallal. sisters and brothers, in tonight's program we will not have time to recount what happened in ferguson, missouri, three weeks ago. i'm sure most of you are quite familiar with the details. instead, we will focus our discussions on the meanings and implications of ferguson for african-american communities across the country and for the nation at large. where do we go from here? what needs to be done in the weeks and months ahead? what recommendations and action items can we come up with tonight? what are the lessons to be learned from ferguson? was ferguson just another cliched teachable moment, or was
it a significant turning point in the troubled history of race relations in america? will this seminal moment in modern american history evolve into a new movement for political change and for social and economic justice for black and brown people in this country. these are some of the questions that our panelists will address shortly. but before we get into our dialogue with the panelists, i would like for us to ask for a moment of silence for michael brown and for eric gardner and for so many african-american men killed by white police officers in different parts of the country in recent weeks. a moment of silence, please. >> may they all rest in peace. thank you. on monday thousands attended
michael brown's funeral in st. louis, and millions more mourned his loss across the country and the world. corporate media tells us in recent days, everything is calm in ferguson. life is back to normal. kids are back in school. implying that the crisis is over, but is this really the case? many young activists, however, say mike brown's dignified funeral was merely a time to press the pause button on the protests. but that the resistance movement will continue to press their demands in the weeks and months ahead. i must say for many of us aging activists, the resolve and determination of the courageous young people in ferguson and from around the country who have been leading the resistance is truly inspiring. they reflect the youth of yesteryear, who were actively involved with snake and the panthers and corps and the sclc
back in the '60s and '70s during civil rights and black liberation struggles. our young people back in the day provided the energy and the passion that the movement needed and today's generation, the hip pop generation, is doing exactly the same thing. we are delighted to have a few of these young activist leaders with us tonight. who along with dozens of other youth from here in d.c. drove by bus all the way from washington to ferguson last week, to participate in the protests and to demonstrate solidarity with the african-american community in st. louis. i'm now going to invite sister erica totten, one of those young activists who took that trip, to come to the mike and give us a brief report on their trip to ferguson. sister erica, please, come forward. [ applause ] >> i just to want make a correction. i wasn't one of the ones that went on the bus.
i went before there came to be a little bit of peace in ferguson. and i wear this shirt because i want to be reminded of what happened to the people there. on my shirt, you see anti-tear gas spray. i haven't brought myself to be able to wash it because i don't want to forget. what was done to us. and this isn't the first time that black people had been attacked. this is not the first time. it will not be the last time. so, i went down there to stand in solidarity with the people in ferguson because i know that could have easily been our city. and it will be our city. because it happened in brooklyn last year. a lot of people don't know about it. there were tanks rolling in brooklyn. this is the response when black people rise up. please understand that. this is the response from our country when black people rise up.
wake up. we are under attack. it has not stopped. we have been under attack for a long time. bombs have been dropped on our cities. bombs. so you don't have to compare us to another country. people look at these pictures and say, this isn't america. yes, it is. for us. it is america. this is where we live and this is what is happening to us. wake up. so, i want to tell you from the people in ferguson, when i talk to those brothers and sisters there, clearly i stand with the people that you call looters. they were resisting. because what happened was, when i talked to them, they said, you know what, you don't care about our lives? we don't care about your property. i stand with them 100%. that's when people start waking up. in this capitalistic society, have you to start breaking stuff to be heard. and that is what they did. and i want to tell you, a lot of people don't want to talk about
this, but i give you a story from us being here, from us being in ferguson. one of the organizers that i was with, as we were running down, it was like a cookout at the kwik trip. it was like a family reunion. people were passing out food. it was free. children were cleaning up the trash. cleaning up the canisters of tear gas that were there. children, babies, cleaning this up. and about 8:30 we went to go to the mcdonald's. that fake mouse mcdonald's you all see. it was so peaceful i even if facetimed with my mother and let her know i was okay. five minutes later, well before curfew, well before cure few, we see a group of police officers run behind a building and they come back with tear gas, tear masks on -- or gas masks on, excuse me, and sticks in their hands. so we know something is about to happen. one of our organizers ask, why are you carrying sticks?
he said, to beat people. this is at 8:30. that's when the tear gas comes. so, we start running, and i'm running ahead of them. the organizer behind me is running and a white man is running toward her and punches her in the face and says, sit the fuck down. that happened. that's real. there are people there that want black people to get shot at. and for the national guard, we know the history of the national guard. i went to a&c. there are still bullet holes in our wall from the national guard. we know what they did in newark, new jersey. so, this is our history. stand with the people in ferguson. they are resisting, showing us what can happen in our city and we know what the response is going to be. so, this is a time we have to come together and honor the people in ferguson. honor mike brown's life that we're not going to go back to business as usual.
we can't afford to do that anymore. we cannot afford to do that anymore. [ applause ] >> thank you so much. give it up for erica totten. thank you. now it's my pleasure to introduce dr. ron daniels, president of the institute of the black world, 21st century, and distinguished lecturer at new york city college and who will provide the context for this meeting. brother ron? >> thank you very much. let's give it up again for the sister with the eyewitness report from ferguson. let's give it up for her. first of all, i want to quickly say that time is limited, we're institute of black world/21st century delighted to have someone as director of communication, done rojas, more importantly, the former press
secretary for bishop. give it up for done rojas. we want to thank andy shallal and busboys and poets for sponsoring this event and drug policy alliance for the support of the work of the institute of the black world/21st century. one wonders if one went back and read the accounts in the british newspapers of what they would have said about the boston tea party. economy say is that because much what the sister talked about, the spirit of resistance. people call it -- people calling it riots. people calling it all kind of things. i never, ever have called any of newark, los angeles, they are rebellions. they reflect people's resistance against the violence being committed against them. we in the 21st century have been saying for years, there is a state of emergency in black
america. a state of emergency. for some people -- there are two black americas quickly. some are doing quite well unless they get stopped while driving black. they live in suburbs, but in the inner urban city areas, what i call america's dark ghettos, as malcolm would say, people are catching more hell than ever before. that state of emergency is a created state of emergency. they took out the jobs, they disinvested in our community. industry left. work has disappeared. they created what they call dangerous communities and the media helped create the dangerous black man. and then the police with the war on drugs. it's a war on us. we must end the war on drugs. and president obama could do it with the stroke of a pen. if nixon created it by executive order, it could be ended by executive order. the other thing is, as the sister said, we talk about looting. we've been looted of our jobs,
looted of education. there's been the ravrishing of our xhujtcommunities. then we have been violated by police violence, terror and killings. we institute of black world/21st century, we say end the war on drugs. we say end police. the attorney general could do that tomorrow. simply stop having the justice department pay for the tanks and all of this military equipment. we say that community policing, and i'm sure ron hampton will speak to community policing ought to be the order of the day. and we are calling upon the attorney general to have a national summit on police misconduct. it may not yield a whole lot, but we want obama to have the opportunity to clearly say he has a priority and that priority is nonmilitary -- it's not the military model. it's community policing. and then next, we need a domestic marshal plan. somebody's got to pay for all
the damage that's been done to our communities. we need a domestic marshal plan. we need our communities rebuilt so that our people can breathe and have jobs and economic opportunity in a way that we don't have now because every community you go in, all across the country, i read in "the new york times" and washington post, how education is being deprived. out in missouri, they're making money off the tickets. you know, they're fining people. then the brothers can't pay for the fines. then they go to jail. they still owe the fine. because of this small government nonsense. there's not enough investment in our community. lastly, we think there ought to also be a kerner commission type study. some may not recall in 1968 after the insurrections there was a kerner commission to study, why does this keep happening? we have a black president and yet we have a state of emergency in america's dark ghettos.
we need the president of the united states to call a commission to study why do the police killings keep going on? why do we have such violence in our community? why do we have such economic underdevelopment? we need answers and president obama can take the lead and providing those answers. so, those are some of the ideas we're putting forth. we're sure the panel is going to share many, many others. but the main thing is, we have to sustain this movement and say that there ain't going to be no justice. there certainly is not going to be any peace. >> thank you very much, dr. ron daniels. sisters and brothers, moving right along. we want to introduce to you our distinguished panel. seated up here next to me on my left and i'm going to introduce them from left to right. and i'm going to ask each of
them to make a very brief, two minutes at the most, opening comment on the crisis in ferguson. you can focus on any aspect of the crisis. after which i will pose a few questions to each of you. thank you so much. from my left, we have brother hilary shelton. hilary shelton is the director of the washington office of the naacp. please give it up for brother shelton. next to him is sister barbara arnwine, lawyer for committee of civil rights. give it up for sister arnwine. and next to her is brother jasiri x, hip-hop artist out of pittsburgh, pennsylvania. give it up for jasiri x. on his right is brother ron
hampton. many of you in washington, d.c. are very familiar with ron hampton. he's a former executive director of the national black police association. and sister nkechi taifa. all right. nkechi is a senior policy analyst for criminal justice matters at open society foundations. welcome sister nkechi. all right. so, opening remarks beginning with brother shelton. >> thank you very much. first, i don't know if everyone can hear me -- >> can't hear you! >> talk now? >> thank you so much. it is so important we have an opportunity to actually respond to what's going on in ferguson,
missouri, and so many other places. it just so happens, i'm one of the few that actually grew up in st. louis, missouri. i know ferguson very well. i saw its transition from being a community that was predominantly white to one that is now 67% african-american. but i've also seen what has happened with the systems in place that is supposed to be democratic in nature. very clearly, they are not being responsive to the concerns going on there now. if you're looking to the city council, those making decisions for the people that live in ferguson, you'll see it is not representative of the 67% of african-americans that live in that township. if you look at the police department, you recognize -- we talk about 67% of the population being african-american, but out of the 53 police officers that actually work that community, only three are african-american. we look at those challenges and other issues addressed in real concerns, we see that democracy is not working and as such the
law enforcement entity put in place that, quote, serve and protect, is doing neither. as we saw what happened to michael brown, it is not surprising people finally got to that tipping point. just to give you a tiny bit more foundation about st. louis. st. louis, missouri, is a community that was 55% african-american in the inner city area. but even as such, even in 1968, when dr. king was assassinated, it was one of the few communities across the country that did not rise up in rebellion. peace was maintained. so, how is it that we got to the point that we did behind the murder of michael brown? indeed, we recognize the concerns are the issues are not being addressed. when you have a scenario in which everything is set up as if some kind of occupying force and that occupying force is one that's actually suppressing
rather than providing the real protection of those communities, you end up with a kind of response we got with michael brown. you end up with an 18-year-old that would one more week on his life, would have started his first day in college. you end up with a community that came out as they did because there seemed to be no other response they could bring. as we talk about what's going on, as my time is ending right now, thank you so much, sister, i want to make sure we have an opportunity to talk about beyond solving the case and the right culprits being held accountable for what happened that we don't treat it as if we want to restore or come back to points of how things were prior to michael brown being killed. in essence, if we don't take this issue on in a manner in which we fix all the problems that go far beyond the shooting, then indeed we'll be exercising a point of futility, which so many have defined would you do the same thing in the same way, expecting a different result. in essence, what you've done is define clinical insanity. let's talk about how we make
sure we bring some sanity not only to ferguson but the rest of the country. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, brother shelton. sister arnwine. >> thank you. good afternoon. good evening, everyone. if i -- there we go. two months ago, all over the world, people were tweeting and talking about bring back our girls. now nobody's talking about it. the issue for us is having stood here repeatedly, year after year, burying our children. burying our older people, killed by police. the question is, as reverend would say, can we move from the moment to a movement? can we do what's necessary to make this our life's work?
that is the challenge for us. and what i want to really point out is that there are here, the unit statement of black organizations on what we can do to make sure we don't see this again. there are things that can be done, my brothers and sisters. we need to look at those. right here in d.c., do we require body-worn cameras? do we require dash cams on every police vehicle? do we require reports of everybody who complains of excessive force and that that's delivered to the public? these are issues we can control. we must make sure no federal dollar goes to anybody. my last point, without having these requirements. my last point is i'm here
because i want to say one thing. the sisters, the black women are also being killed. don't miss that. black women -- a black woman was shot just the other day. we don't see these buddies. we don't treasure these bodies. black women, black girls, must understand that we can't heal half a community. we must heal the entire community and save all our lives! thank you. >> thank you. brother jasiri x. >> check, check. i want to start by saying -- well, you know, thanks to the black world for everybody coming. what happened in ferguson is a result of the actions of an
officer named darren wilson. he was the one who saw a young man in the street and if the audio on cnn just released is correct, he shot six times, paused, shot five more times. shooting michael brown at least six times, twice in the head. consistent with what the witnesses said, being shot ten times. when the community attempts to have a peaceful vigil, police roll up with a military army and start agitating the community. i keep hearing people saying, the protests need to be peaceful. the protests need to be peaceful. somebody needs to tell the police to be peaceful. it's the police breaks the peace. i'm saying i just came back from ferguson. i was on the strip myself, david banner and some other folks. we was having a conversation with a young brother. like you said, it was peace. it was like a family reunion. saturday night. it was hot outside.
everybody was out. people were playing music. food was being given awe. for no reason at all, 15 police officers come from the left side, 15 to my right side, arrested two of the young men we were talking to for absolutely no reason. i went up to captain johnson, who was different than the one you see in the media. he wasn't smiling and laughing and joking and leave your marches that fight. he was surrounded by hundreds of officers. i asked him, why they arrested these men for doing nothing. he told me, i don't have to talk to you. you're not from here. this is what's happening on the ground. you know what i'm saying? the last thing i want to say is despite all this, these young leaders that came up. highly sophisticated, intelligent, organized, formed a coalition called -- yes, give it up for them. if it was not for them, it would have been a lot more destruction you were seeing. but they united under a name called hands up united. you can go to handsupunited.org,
see the list, donate to different things. so, i would encourage you, go to handsupunited.com -- sorry, dot-org, those trying to keep resisting despite a heavy military presence. >> all right now! >> thank you very much, brother jasiri x. brother hampton. >> let me say good evening to everyone. and thank -- >> mike! >> keep talking, all right. he said, keep talking. i would like to -- my comments are going to be in the nature of putting this in some context. we cannot look at the michael brown killing as a single incident in time. it is a continuation of the assault and attack on black men and women in the black community. just for a little history. the militarization of policing
started after vietnam. police departments received military equipment after vietnam, after desert storm. as we see now, iraq and afghanistan. that equipment is being used in the war on -- used in the war on drugs, the war on black people in the community. black men and women, the police department is not the only answer. you can add six more police officers or 20 more police officers in ferguson. if we don't begin to address the systematic issues around the policy and practices of the police department, they will continue to be as brutal as the police officer. dr. daniels talked about community policing. community policing is result -- if community policing results is real, then it must work for us. if not, we must find the strategies that's going to work for black people in the black community. we talk an awful lot about community policing but we
haven't seen the benefits of communitying policing in our community. the kind of arrests that's been taking place in new york and all over the country as a result of walking while black, riding while black, marijuana, other drug arrest is not the result of community policing. if we're going to have community policing, it must be real community policing. we need to be involved in that process. we also must begin to replace the policies and practices with those policy and practices that again are going to work for our community. i want to add my voice to the recommendations. we must end the war on drugs. we must end mass incarceration in our communities. we must have more jobs for our people. calling for a summit in race in the criminal justice system. we cannot have a beer bus in the backyard and think that's going to solve problems when it comes to race and policing. calling for a study of our criminal justice system. yeah, ron, we haven't had one in
over 30 years. it's time to have a thorough evaluation and analysis of the criminal justice system in our country because it's not working for us. thank you. >> thank you, ron hampton. sister nkechi. >> i saw a photograph on social media recently of a lynching juxtaposed with a lifeless body of michael brown, who was laying in the street for hours. you see, when an enslaved person was hung, they would leave the body to do what? instill fear in the hearts of other slaves. it was terrorism then. and i submit, it is terrorism now. it is one thing for people to be murdered, but more egregious for the perpetrators to be those who wear damages and have been sworn to uphold the law.
victims of law enforcement abuse, oscar grant, johnny grammage, david garner, all of them, they're crying out from the grave for justice. as we now grieve for young michael brown, let us vow that this time that our outrage not just be for a moment, which will dissipate with time, but a movement that will seize a time. this is a movement that must, in addition to the critical demands that the civil rights organizations have made, that it must also up the ante and internationalize the struggle. for example, the united nations code of conduct for law enforcement officials and basic principles on the use of firearms requires that law enforcement use force and firearms only as a last resort. and that the amount of force must be proportionate to the threat.
what about the international convention on elimination of all forms of racial discrimination? what about the international convention on civil and political rights? what about the international convention on torture? what about the international convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide? we are in a revolutionary moment right now. it is incumbent upon all of us to seize it by building a focused justice movement. we must face the ante and have the audacity to break the criminal punishment system once and for all and to fashion new systems of justice based on prevention rather than punishment. compassion rather than criminalization. and i submit in closing that we need a new narrative that boldly embraces a human rights model so that justice does not become just us. we need innovative people that are not afraid to think out of
the box and to push the envelope for change. thank you. >> thank you very much. give it up for the panelists. sisters and brother says, other panelists, brother keenan kelo, counsel on house judiciary committee has been held up. he's been traveling. just got back into the city and is trying to make his way here this evening. so, he may show up. also brother danny gloefer is currently on a film shoot in utah and he is a little bit delayed. he's in the middle of filming a scene as we speak. he has promised to call in around 7:30. so, stand by for that. we hope to bring him in very shortly. a couple of housekeeping matters before we move into our dialogue
session. there are yellow cards being circulated by ibw volunteers around the tables. please fill them out and the volunteers will come and pick them up before the end of the program. we also encouraging folks to tweet live this event. the hash tag is #ibwhandsup. that's the hash tag. go ahead and tweet while the program moves along. complex on interconnected issues and questions exposed by the crisis in ferguson, issues of race and class, of poverty, systematic, social and economic inequality, none is more central than the issue of policing. more specifically, police misconduct. in black and brown communities across the country. we do have a formal police officer on our panel, brother ron hampton.
i'm going to ask him the first question. ron, you did mention about community policing. it's been a buzz word for a number of years. but recently it's been sort of on the back burner. what aspects of community policing would guarantee a greater degree of accountability and transparency in america's police departments? >> well, the answer to the question is that accountability and transparency has to take place even before crisis takes place. because those are the kind of ingredients that will avert crisis. there's a former police commissioner in the city of baltimore. his name was thomas frazier. we struggled with community policing nationally for some time now, but commissioner
frazier had a concept he said worked for him in baltimore. the concept was that he believed in the development of community capital. because he said police/citizen relationships was like married individuals. sometimes it's good. sometimes it's not. and that's the way relationships is in our communities. but he said, when you develop and create capital, then sometimes when things aren't that good, you can call on the community that assists to be with you until you get information to them or some additional kind of thing. if you wait until the incident to happen, then that's too late. and there was an example in st. louis less than three miles away from where mr. powell was shot and killed brandishing a knife when two police officers came up on the scene. now, quite frankly, i'm not satisfied with the answer, but
at least the police chief came out on the scene. they have also been able to obtain the video that was taken by a witness. then he released the information on the scene and we didn't have an incident. i submit to you that the reason we didn't have an incident was because of the transparency and the information that was given to people on the scene. but the other thing that needs to happen is you can't wait till the crisis in order to get it done. so, you got to develop the crisis. as i was talking about the crisis, we haven't had that experience with the police where trust and confidence is an everyday kind of thing. they come talk to us about turning in our brothers and sisters, but they aren't talking to us about developing the relationship and the public safety policies and practices that we need to have in our community. you will continue to have crisis if we don't have it. i'm at the stage of saying if
that model of community policing isn't working for us, let's find one that's going to work for us. >> okay, great. brother jasiri x, you talked about officer darren wilson. there are probably dozens of darren wilsons in police departments across the country. racist, trigger-happy cops infused with the sickness of white supremacy, unfortunately. some have said that darren wilson will probably not be indicted. given the peculiarities of missouri's justice system and given the pro-cop history of the prosecutor, the county of st. louis prosecutor. i want to have jasiri respond to that. also i want to ask the question to the two attorneys on the panel, sister arnwine and sister
nkechi. what is it -- what are the possibilities realistic possibilities for darren wilson to be indicted and brought to trial for murder? >> well, i'll start. in 2012 i made a song called "do we need to start a riot" and i made that song because of the malcolm x grass movement did, in 2013 200 black people were killed by a security guard, like george zimmerman, which amounted to one every 48 hours. ultimately when i asked the question, do we need to start a riot? i'm really asking, what do we have to do to get justice? if we are continually shot down and no one is to blame, then what do you think will eventually happen if this is something that happens over and over and over again? so, you know, ferguson is simmering right now.
but so is new york city. so is chicago, illinois. so is l.a. and so is d.c. so, i would be -- if i was them, i would be very careful. zimmerman was found not guilty. michael dunn was found guilty of attempted murder but not in the murder of jordan davis, the person he shot and killed. now if darren wilson is not indicted, what do you want us to do? because if you're not going to give us justice, then we have to ask, are we wrong if we then take justice in our own hands? >> all right now. so, the legal questions, two things, it's very clear that mcculliff, the prosecuting attorney in st. louis isn't about zero. we should not be expecting much.
he's already started off in a horrible way by saying he's going to have the officer testify before the grand jury. that's almost unheard of, people. this is a very unusual thing. we also have been watching the police force do everything in their power to uphold this gentleman, this officer, by saying that he was, quote, being bum-rushed by mr. michael brown when he's being shot at. repeatedly. ridiculous accusation. we know a lot of that is coming from the police department and the police union. so, i am not expecting much of the state. the question is, what is the department of justice going to do? because they have the authority
to bring civil rights charges. if they're going to do it, they can't drag their feet. remember, this administration goes out in 2016. they will be over in 2016. it is imperative if we're going to have a prosecution that charges are brought right now -- as early and as soon as possible, all the elements that are required are there. the question of intent is the one that will be the hardest that they'll have to deal with. still you can infer intent. this is going to be a great case. it's a case worth the department of justice pursuing. we don't want to be sitting here a year from now like we are with zimmerman saying, what happened? we have to keep the pressure up, my brothers and sisters. we have to demand a prosecution.
we have to demand this man be brought to justice. we cannot expect anybody to pursue justice here if we don't make it happen through our actions. thank you. >> let me just add on to what my sister said. because the department of justice does have a high bar. there is that hurle, that hurdle of intent, that same hurdle that has stymied us time after time after time. that's why i keep harping on the need to not limit ourselves within the confines of the u.s. jurisdictional law. we need to up the ante. insert international racial convention treaty that says you can circumvent intent if you can show discriminatory impact. there's no question in terms of discriminatory impact.
but it's not within u.s. law to be able to use that, even though the u.s. senate has ratified that treaty. however, we do need to be created. there is the ninth amendment to the united states constitution which states that the -- the provisions of this constituti constituticonstitution shall not be denied or disparaged -- what is -- it's a gateway to international law, basically. saying there are rights retained by the people. that's a provision of the ninth amendment. what is one of those rights? one of those rights is the right to international human rights law. >> thank you. brother shelton, a senior representative of the oldest organization in the country, the naacp. you're also a lobbyist on capitol hill. i want you to talk about the
official government response from the obama administration, from congress, from the senate, to the crisis in ferguson. there's been deathly silence on the part of some of our national political figures. some of whom are -- who have already begun the race for president. but there's also been some sharp criticism of the president's response from several prominent black public intellectuals like dr. cornel west, dr. dyson. first of all, the response of the civil rights community to the crisis. we have not seen many national civil rights leaders in the front of the demonstrations or in front of the cameras. why is that the case? >> let me first start out by saying, the new president of the naacp, cornel williams brooks was on the ground in ferguson,
missouri, the very next day. in essence, he hopped on a plane, i don't know which one of these works best. he hopped on a plane the very next day and was on the ground, holding a community meeting at the same church, quite frankly, that the funeral was held in. so, we are there and have been there. the difference with the naacp and some of the others is we have a branch that actually represents all of st. louis county, of which ferguson is a part of. in addition to that, our state conference president came in from columbia, missouri, and our st. louis city branch president came in from st. louis and has been on the ground along with our youth addressing the issues. here's the challenge we have right now. what we're seeing is a classic move towards sue expression. that is, if you look at all the moves that were taken, when you start arresting reporters, it's about suppression. when you implement a no-fly zone so that news helicopters cannot come overhead and look down at what's going on, we are talking
about suppression. we talk about the standard processes that are utilized to make sure that the truth does not get out. we've seen all those playing out in ferguson, missouri. when you walk into american icons like the mcdonald hamburger store and you arrest the reporter from "the washington post" and "the huffington post," while they're charging their computers to report on the story, when that's going on, you know suppression is under way. so, when we see what's happening with police officers that are actually defending other police officers, you know there's a problem. that's like saying to me, well, my taxes aren't being done right. i would say to the federal government, i appreciate you raising that issue. i will investigate myself. indeed, when you have the ferguson police on the ground in ferguson, protecting one of their own as and suppressing the information coming out of that community with the strategies we've seen played out, indeed,
what we have is a strategy of suppression. so, here's what we're doing. we're going to go far beyond this case but we're oncase, too. justice has to be done for the brown family and michael brown himself. secondly, the right signals have to be send out that when these things happen to unarmed african-american teenagers in the streets, we will not stand idly by and say whoops. another part of collateral damage being played out in this militaristic manner in which we're addressing what's going on in ferguson, missouri. it's not the first time. don't forget, we were in cleveland, ohio, less than ten years ago because a 14-year-old kid was shot in the back by a police officer as he ran in the other direction. the question is, what happened then? there were no changes. we want to pass a number of pieces of legislation. number one, every community should have a police
accountability review board that has real power of subpoena, has the power of independence, has independent resources so the police when these situations happen are not investigating themselves. local police accountability review boards with real power. secondly, we have to pass the end racial profiling act that's now pending in the u.s. congress. congressman conyers introduced this piece of laetiegislation t hold police departments accountable and cut off their funds. thirdly, we have to past the law enforcement trust and integrity act. let me ask you a question. i have to give the microphone to somebody else, but here is the question. if you're going to determine that some police officer is actually misusing force, the abuse 6 force, don't you first have to define what the acceptable use of force is?
should not the question be, if you have an unarmed teenager shot to death in the street, what happened? what happened to the nondeadly uses of force? what happened to the baton? what happened to tasers? what happened to billy clubs? what happened to other forms of tools that actually say that if somebody is misbehaving, we will capture them, we will actually address them, and we will make sure that they get a fair trial before we actually act as executioner in this these particular cases. we've got a full agenda to move forward. what i have here that i want to pass out to everyone is all the pieces of legislation that we believe need to be passed by the u.s. congress to begin fixing this problem and again eliminating the insanity factor by making sure we don't continue to do the same thing over and over again in the same way and expecting a different result. i look forward to more questions. >> thank you.
sister, barbara arnwine, you are also an active person on capitol hill. your organization is respected in the legislative chambers. what's your take on what brother shelton just said? >> yes, my take is that the reforms -- we know what this congress is about. first of all, everyone, you should have circled almost engraved on your forehead november 4th, 2014. that is election day. every single member of congress will be up for election. every single one. in 2010 during the last midterm election, 25 million people who voted in 2008 did not turn out.
the average congress person was elected by how many votes do you think? less than 2,000 votes. if we turn out, if we do our job, we will have a better congress because every piece of legislation that's talked about here is meaningless without the right congress. but here is what we can do. while we're waiting to get the best congress, i got to tell everyone that the department of justice has a guidance that has not been reissued since 2003 on racial profiling. 2003. during the ashcroft administration. we need to update the guidance because it's the one that sets the framework for what is racial profiling by police. it's the guidance that says who gets money from the department of justice, from the department
of defense, the department of homeland security. all of that comes under that guidance. yet we have not demanded of this administration six years that they update that guidance. that has to happen. secondly, the department of justice has been called upon by the legal defense fund, and we join them, in saying that they need to publish and collect data on every police department that's out here shooting and killing kids and killing young people, and they need to publish that data, and they need to stop giving them any money because the abuse is happening through their actions. so we are saying that there's a lot that could be done by executive order, by guidance, by practice, and by funding. don't underestimate the amount of money that police forces get
from the federal government. i, you guys probably know, that there years a three years ago almost in november, that the s.w.a.t. team invaded my own home and held my family at gunpoint for three hours threatening to kill us. never produced a warrant, threatened to batter down my front door, lied to the press about what they had done afterwards, still lying, and they came in my house. they had -- they made ferguson look like chumps. they have every color riot gear on. they had sniper rifles. they had every kind of shield, everything you can imagine, and they threatened to kill every one of my family members, including me and my 80-year-old
mother. so let me be very clear, this is prince georges county i'm talking about. maryland accounts for more s.w.a.t. team action than any other state in the union, and we need to be very clear that when i started telling people about this, they thought i was lying. they thought i was exaggerating. they said this doesn't happen in america. now we see it. so it's very, very important that we're very clear that this could be stopped. they can stop giving them military equipment. they can stop having these police forces have all these s.w.a.t. teams that are running around thinking they're in iraq or afghanistan and prince georges county. we can change this. but we have to unite and make the change. thank you. >> thank you, sister. [ applause ] >> sister nkechi, you are a
senior analyst at the open society foundation which has been doing for a number of years excellent work in trying to stop the war on drugs. you have been involved in this campaign yourself. i'd like you to draw the parallels between the war on drugs and the militarization of the police forces across the country. it has been said that the reason that the department of justice, the reason that the homeland security and the department of defense have been sending military equipment to the police forces is to so-called fight the war on drugs as well as counterterrorism throughout the united states. can you comment on that relationship, please? >> yes. thank you very much. many folk do not realize this, but since 1995 the pentagon has distributed $5.1 billion in surplus military equipment to u.s. police departments.
and i just want to give a little background as a context of the time in which this happened. this happened in the wake of the crime bill of 1994. we're talking about the same crime bill that saw the largest expansion of the death penalty in modern times. the same crime bill that had proliferations of scores of mandatory minimum sentences, trying 13-year-olds as adults. the federal three strikes bill. incentives to states for more money to build more prisons to lock more people up for longer periods of time and all of this was part and parcel of the war on drugs. this was the backdrop for the militarization of the domestic u.s. police force. we're talking about the things that barbara arnwine was speaking of when they came and knocked down her door. we're talking about armored tanks. we're talking about mine resistant vehicles.
we have a situation we have officers in ferguson running around in camouflage. i mean, why do they need camouflage in the inner city? they have these huge toys that have been collecting dust in the warehouses so they are looking for any excuse to bring these weapons of mass destruction out. so they have taken the war on drugs, used the war on terrorism as an excuse and are using these things, you know, against our people. there are measures in congress right now. they're speaking about measures to limit the use of military-style equipment in domestic police forces. we need to look at this. this isn't just coming from progressives. we have conservatives such as senator rand paul who has been speaking out against things like this as well. this is very, very important, and my time is up, but there is a definite connection.