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Oct 30, 2020: Democrats Investigate Family Separations

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Joe Biden promises to use the powers of the presidency to reunite families separated by Donald Trump’s border policies. And a new report by Congressional Democrats sheds new light on just how cruel those policies have been.

Meanwhile, an incident database reveals that not a week has gone by through much of this year without a case of police brutality against protesters and journalists in the United States. In that way, the new civil rights movement has a lot in common with the old one.

And lastly, many first-time voters will arrive at the polls next week as veterans of political protest. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this year’s youth vote is projected to break all records, and is overwhelmingly anti-Trump.


Campaigning in Florida yesterday, Joe Biden announced he would sign an executive order on the first day of his presidency establishing a task force to find the parents of five hundred and forty five children who remain separated from their families as a result of Trump’s grotesque immigration policies.

Also yesterday, the Washington Post reported that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee released a lengthy report on the matter. The report purports to be the first complete narrative of the Trump administration’s so-called zero tolerance policy that separated thousands of migrant children from their families. The report is the result of a two- year investigation. It found QUOTE reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty ENDQUOTE within the program. And it warns that hundreds of children may never be reunited with their parents.

Lawyers estimate that as many as five thousand four hundred children were taken from their parents under the separation program, the Post reports. The policy targeted Central American families at the US southern border. The Trump administration ran a pilot program in El Paso in 2017 before expanding it in 2018, despite concerns that there was no orderly way to track the

children and their families once they were separated. Trump later rescinded the policy after an international outcry.

The committee also found that more than eight hundred and sixty complaints involving family separations were filed with the Homeland Security Department. The complaints include claims that minors were mistreated while in custody, such as an 8-year-old who was kicked or hit with a shoe by Customs and Border Patrol officers to wake him up.

Who will pay for this terrible crime? The families must be reunited, and justice done.

Police brutality cases mapped

Since the end of May, there has not been a single week without an incidence of police brutality against a civilian or a journalist at a protest in the US, the Guardian reports. According to data collected by Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture and analysed by the Guardian, at least nine hundred and fifty instances of police brutality against civilians and journalists during anti-racism protests have occurred in the past five months.

The database shows more than one thousand violations, including:

- more than five hundred of instances of police using less-lethal rounds, pepper spray and teargas;

- sixty incidents of officers using unlawful assembly to arrest protesters; - five attacks on medics;

- and eleven instances of kettling.

The data is probably an undercount as it only contains documented and verified incidents, per the Guardian. Portland had the highest number of recorded instances, at two hundred and nineteen. Seventy-six incidents took place in New York City, sixty in Seattle, fifty-four in Minneapolis and forty-nine in Los Angeles. And no doubt a few in your town, too!

Another troubling detail from the data is how police have handled rightwing extremists, who have frequently come out to counter-protest anti-racism demonstrations. Nineteen incidents show police being permissive to far-right members and treating white supremacists favorably at protests. One notable instance took place in Washington, DC, where the Ohio National

Guard deployed a known neo-Nazi to the anti-racism protests taking place in the city. That’s certainly an interesting way to serve and protect...

Historic youth vote projected

The Washington Post reports that youth voter turnout is set to reach historic levels this year. Data on early voters and recent polling suggest eligible voters under thirty could break their historic 2008 turnout, when it peaked at forty-eight percent when Barack Obama was elected. A new national poll released this week by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School showed Joe Biden’s lead among young voters has increased in recent months. About sixty-three percent of likely voters ages eighteen to twenty nine say they support Biden, compared to the twenty-five percent supporting Trump.

Voters under thirty increasingly view voting as a major part of their civic engagement, along with protesting and posting about politics on social media, the Post reports. Many students voting for the first time this year have been politically active since middle and high school. The Harvard poll found that eighty-two percent of respondents cited voting as one of the most effective ways to create societal change, up from seventy-four percent in 2017.

Biden is seeking to juice youth turnout this week with a new ad airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. That oughtta do it.

Both Biden and Trump were campaigning in Florida yesterday. Biden told supporters there QUOTE You hold the power. If Florida goes blue, it’s over ENDQUOTE. NBC News reported that medics were being called every few minutes at the Trump rally in Tampa on account of the high heat, and a dozen people were hospitalized. Trump also canceled an event last night in Fayetteville, North Carolina as Tropical Storm Zeta brought strong wind gusts to the area. The weather gods are not on his side lately. Both campaigns have events scheduled today in Minnesota. And on Saturday, Biden will hold a joint rally in Michigan with his old boss, Obama. Meanwhile the Boss, Bruce Sprinsgteen, released a sentimental appeal for his fans to vote out the Republicans on November 3rd. Which is just around the corner of this weekend. Are you nervous? We feel you.


The journalist Glenn Greenwald announced that he is resigning from the media organization he co-founded, the Intercept, claiming censorship. Intercept management meanwhile says Greenwald threw a tantrum and resented being edited. Such drama! Greenwald self-published the column at issue, which took aim at Joe Biden, and will no doubt air his complaints further on Tucker Carlson’s show very soon.

Three people were killed in a knife attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice (NEESE) yesterday. French President Emmanuel Macron called it an Islamist terror attack and announced the deployment of seven thousand members of an anti-terror security force throughout the country. The attack comes two weeks after the beheading of a public school teacher and amid another uproar about the publication of Islamophobic cartoons.

Britain's Labour Party suspended former leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday over his response to a report on antisemitism in the party. In a statement, Corbyn said QUOTE One antisemite is one too many, but the scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media. That combination hurt Jewish people and must never be repeated. My sincere hope is that relations with Jewish communities can be rebuilt and those fears overcome ENDQUOTE.

Walmart has removed gun and ammunition displays from thousands of US stores ahead of next week’s presidential election. A company spokesman explained that the move was a precaution in the event of QUOTE civil unrest ENDQUOTE. I repeat: Are you nervous?

SAM: That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.

OCT 30, 2020 - AM QUICKIE

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Corey Pein

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw