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tv   ACLU Membership Conference - Sen. Elizabeth Warren  CSPAN  June 15, 2018 8:28am-9:01am EDT

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we live to eat in new orleans. >> watch the senate cities tour of louisiana saturday at noon eastern on booktv. and sunday at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span3 working with cable affiliates as we explore america. >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company and today we continue to bring unfiltered coverage of progress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> sen. lisbeth ward spoke to a civil liberties union conference in washington dc. this is 30 minutes.
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elizabeth warren. >> good afternoon, everybody. thank you very much, nice call and response. it is my great honor to introduce our next speaker today, the persistent sen. elizabeth warren. [cheers and applause] >> mitch mcconnell and republican colleagues stopped her from reading loretta scott king's warnings about jeff sessions on the floor of the senate and what sen. mcconnell said at the time was the very dismissive words she was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless, i am thinking you'll want to see the next three words, she
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persisted. sen. warren did persist and she read karen a scott king's letter to millions on facebook live and mitch mcconnell's smug victory lap, we got her, turned into a meme as you know. how many of you have seen that meme and tweet? how many have seen it on t-shirts? how many have the t-shirts? there you go and how many have a tattoo? the whole idea of persistence is an apt description not only of that moment but elizabeth warren's career and life. early marriage and motherhood was a challenge for her to complete college and law school but nevertheless she managed -- go ahead, nevertheless, she persisted, spectacularly successful academic career after years of teaching harvard law school and become initially renowned scholar. when warren thought for the consumer protection bureau there were a lot of vested
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interests in wall street and financial institutions that pushed back. nevertheless, she persisted and she won, and in 2012 sen. warren ran for senate against the popular incumbent in a state that never elected a woman as sen.. nevertheless, she persisted and she won. she is persisting in being a bright spot in a congress that has become a blackhole for civil liberties. among very many bills sen. warren is sponsoring, bill to reform outdated marijuana policies, a bill to end discrimination based on sexual orientation in public schools, bill to improve procedures for handling sexual harassment discrimination against congressional employees and using solitary confinement in
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the bureau of prisons. i know you won't care about this but a bill to protect children affected by immigration enforcement. we all know that none of these bills is easy but nevertheless do we want sen. warren to persist in persisting? i want to tell you i happened to be at a meeting of democratic senators on february 8, 2017, in a totally nonpartisan fashion and the presiding sen. commented that it was lucky to have the president of the aclu in the room the morning after an incident every impression of speech on the floor of the senate. what i told sen. warren that day i would like to ask you to ratify, the aclu always stands ready to protect her freedom of speech, what do you think? what i would like to do is invite sen. warren to the stage to exercise her freedom of speech right here and now, sen.
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elizabeth warren. [applause] >> hello! hello! hello, aclu! all right, i am so pleased to be with you this afternoon and i want to say a special thank you to your extraordinary leader, susan herman. i want to give a shout out to a person who has shown deep appreciation and commitment to the fight for justice. anthony romero. wherever you are. and i know people out there have some folks from aclu in
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massachusetts and aclu. all right. let's be blunt. our democracy is under attack. voting and impartial judiciary, free press, the rule of law, the foundations of our democracy are under attack every single day, under attack, but not lost. i looked out here and i see thousands of deeply committed women and men, people of every race, gender, religion and color, people committed to building a better future. i look out here and i see donald trump's worst nightmare. [applause] >> today i want to talk about
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the fight to save our democracy. why we fight and who we are fighting for. like a lot of people i started thinking a lot more seriously about democracy after the 2016 election. i went to donald trump's inauguration, i know a lot of people didn't but i wanted to see it with my own eyes. i thought it was important and i was right. it is now burned into the back of my eyeballs. every time i get tired, every time i get discouraged i close my eyes, donald trump is being sworn in as president, i am back, ready to fight, i am in the game. [applause] >> when the history books are written about donald trump's inauguration they will for talk about his deeply dark speech the talked about how the first flight he picked as president was over the size of his crowd,
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but also talk about the next day, the women's march. they will talk about the largest march in the history of the world. [applause] >> historians will talk about a renewal of democracy, a strong, resilient democracy, a democracy that springs directly from the people. this democracy is led by women in pink hats who organized the largest march in the history of the world. since democracy is led by the people who rushed to every airport terminal across this country and said no, donald trump, you cannot been muslims.
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[applause] >> this democracy is led by the scientists marching in their lab coats urging our government to protect us from climate change and environmental destruction. [applause] >> it is led by people with disabilities who storm to put a human face on medicaid. >> it is led by the aclu that sues trump administration to stop one discriminatory policy after another. it is led by dreamers. it is led by high school
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students. and it is led by all of you. that is why we are here. we are rewiring democracy but let's not kid ourselves. the other side doesn't look over and say they got a lot of people, grassroots trying to build democracy and we will just give up, no. the other side has not given up. every day we wake up to attacks on our values, attacks on the rule of law, attacks on just plain old common sense. you know this better than most because the aclu is on the front lines fighting to protect the promise that makes america an extraordinary country, the promise that we are still struggling to fulfill, the promise that no matter who you
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are or where you come from, in america, everyone will have a real opportunity to build a future. the promise that every kid, black, white, brown or middle-class, born working-class, born poor, born in a city, or on a reservation, born gay, straight, trends, this will be an america where every kid will have a fighting chance to realize their dream. that is the america i believe in and the america i love and that is the america i am fighting alongside you every day to make a reality. that is the america that gives me a chance to be here today.
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when i was a kid growing up on the ragged edge of the middle class, my dreams were closer to home. graduate high school, go to college, teach school, have babies, maybe someday buy a home. in my life there were a lot of bumps and wrong turns along the way. when i was 12 my daddy had a heart attack, my family nearly lost everything. i dropped out of school, it didn't work out. i lived in a country where i could get a first rate public college education for $50 a semester. think about that. a country investing in highways and bridges and power and all the things that build a vibrant economy and good paying jobs
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right here in america. i did not grow up in a perfect country, black and latino americans were locked out of many opportunities and often confined to the worst jobs. women had limited chances and lgbt q people were locked firmly in the closet but we were an america that believed, that believed in opportunity, and slowly but increasingly, we opened those opportunities to more people. the black-white wealth gap has been huge since we first started measuring it in the 1940s, the civil rights movement of the 1960s stirred a determination to expand opportunity in this country. new laws that increased access to voting, housing and public accommodations have a real
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impact, from the mid-1960s through the 1970s, a 15 year. that black-white wealth gap shrank by 30%. there is your evidence that rights matter and there's a reason we fight for rights, they matter to people in this country. we were far from perfect, we were a country that was expanding opportunities for more and more of our kids. i took advantage of those opportunities and i stand here today, the daughter of a janitor who became a public school teacher, college professor and now a united states senator, because america invested in kids like me. [applause]
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>> i'm grateful to that america, grateful down to my toes and i believe in that america. but for decades, powerful interests have rigged the game against working people all across this country. bit by bit, the opportunity to build a future has been moving further and further out of reach. our government has been taken over by the rich and the powerful. a generation of trickle-down economics, deregulation and tax cuts for billionaires has destroyed unions, undermines public schools and left us with a crumbling infrastructure. for a full generation, gdp has climbed in this country. ceo salaries have grown by almost 1000% while wages for working people have barely budget. flat wages coupled with rising
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costs for housing, healthcare, childcare, college, have squeezed families all across this country, suburban, urban and rural. i went to pick up on my earlier example, remember the black-white wealth gap was chopped by a third in just 15 years when the right to vote, the right to get a job, the right to buy a home, the kind of rights the aclu fights for every day, when those rights were protected, once the republicans pushed their trickle-down economy and began a direct assault on voting and other rights, the black-white wealth gap traveled. poor kids, black, white, latino, urban, rural, poor kids got stuck. in the 1960s the chance that
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any child in america would do better than her parents was 90-10, think about that. by the 2000s the chance to climb the ladder was just a smidge under 50/50. here is the reason i fight. i ran for the united states senate and headed to washington to change the system that was leaving so many behind. i knew it wouldn't be easy trying to turn a government that works for the rich and the powerful into a government that works for the rest of us but i didn't go to washington to duck the tough fights but to win them and so did you. since the 1920s the aclu has fought to preserve the promise of america and here's what i love most about the aclu.
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you don't just fight, you win. you fight, you fight for the underestimated, those left behind and locked out of opportunity. native americans, african americans and other people of color, lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender people, mentally ill individuals, prisoners, people with disabilities and poor. he began fighting against the harassment and deportation of immigrants in 1920. you fought for workers rights, you fight against the ugly interment of more than 120,000 japanese americans. you stood with civil rights activists and protesters, have set in marches and freedom rides and fighting for racial
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equality in america. took on sex discrimination, fighting for equal rights for women in the workplace and the marketplace and since the supreme court upheld a woman's right to choose in roe versus wade, you have been fighting on the front lines for reproductive rights. [applause] >> you created the lesbian and gay rights project in the mid-1980s to advance gay-rights and you fought tooth and nail to make marriage equality the law of the land. [applause] >> now you are on the front lines of the resistance against this administration. you have been america's true freedom fighters. [applause] >> i know reading that list is a little like preaching to the
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choir. but we come together for a reason. we come together to remind ourselves that we have fought hard fights before. we have fought hard fights and we have won hard fights. i came here today to make you a promise. we will do it again. we will fight for this democracy. this presidency is not a dictatorship. we will defend our country. we will fight for our freedom. and we will make america a country we can believe in.
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[cheers and applause] >> let's be clear about it. when an extremist group like the nra stand in the way of our safety of our kids, we are going to fight back. [cheers and applause] >> when betsy devos turns her back on public education and let's student loan companies ripoff college students, we are going to fight back. when donald trump makes a promise to dreamers and then breaks that promise, we are going to fight back. [cheers and applause] >> and i am just getting warmed up. when racist voter id laws and voter suppression tactics sprout like weeds all over this country, when communities like flint are living with poisoned water and polluted air, when there is still no justice for
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eric garner and sandra bland and so many more, we are going to keep fighting back. [cheers and applause] >> when you can still be fired from your job because of who you love, when republicans try to rigged the census to pretend people of color don't exist, when you are afraid to report a rate because ice could split up your family, when you're treated like a suspect in your daily life because of the color of your skin, we are going to keep fighting back. [cheers and applause] >> and if you think we get under their skin now, just you wait! [cheers and applause]
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>> i am in this fight all the way and so are you. when you fight back, you make change. this november 6th, donald trump is going to hear all of us loud and clear because we are going to vote like our rights depends on it! [cheers and applause] >> by november 6th is not the end of our job, not even close. we have to show people that when we get a chance to lead, things will start getting better. we will build opportunity for all. let's talk about who and what we are fighting for. we are fighting for an economy where anyone who works can build a better life for their kids. that means rolling back the
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trillion dollar tax giveaways to big corporations and investing that money in healthcare, education and infrastructure. we are fighting for criminal justice system that promotes equal under law. if you want to the pot, let's put the banker who financed the drug deals in jail. [cheers and applause] >> we are fighting for an america where equal means equal and that means passing the equality act and do no harm act so no one can be fired or denied housing or told they can't get a wedding cake just because of who they are or who
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they love. [cheers and applause] >> we are fighting for dreamers who are as american as you and me and just want a chance to build a future. that means passing the dream act so dreamers have a chance to live without the fear of being ripped away from the only home but most of them has ever known. we are fighting for women and that means we will keep planned parenthood open and make sure women have access to safe, legal abortion. [cheers and applause] >> that also means putting more women in power from committee rooms to board rooms, that
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oval-shaped room at 1600 pennsylvania ave.. [cheers and applause] >> we are fighting for the right to vote and that means the census the counts every person, automatic voter registration and no more gerrymandering. [cheers and applause] >> how about we fight for a constitutional amendment establishing an unquestioned, unassailable, nationally recognized right to vote. how about it? voting is not a privilege, it is a right. [cheers and applause] >> and most of all, we are fighting for an america that is truly democratic. that means ending corruption in washington, getting rid of the
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cesspool of money out of politics, overturning citizens united in returning government to the people. [applause] >> make no mistake. none of this will be easy but i sure hope you are ready to fight uphill for as long as it takes because i am going up that hill, with me all the way. [applause] >> for the next five month and beyond, i ask you to raise your voice. let's fight to make the playing field level for working people once again. let's fight to restore our democracy so we can pass the promise of america on to our children and grandchildren. the darkness of this political
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moment may seem all-consuming, but i have a handle and so do you. and together, we can light the path forward. together, we can save this democracy. and i promise you, i promise you, that if we all stay in this fight and we all stand together, we will win. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. [cheers and applause]
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>> i'm glad to see you are all joining me in thanking elizabeth warren for being here today, not only is she persistent but inspirational. i want to thank all of you for being here and being part of the fight. now the more active part of the afternoon, the breakout sessions where you not only get more inspiration but you can get mobilized was have a great day and i look forward to seeing you at the awards dinner tonight, have fun. ♪ >> this weekend c-span's cities tour takes you to louisiana in a try centennial year with the help of cox communications cable partners, we will explore the literary scene and history of the city. saturday at noon eastern on
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booktv, hear about the life and influence of tennessee williams, best known for his plays the glass menagerie, cat on a hot tin roof, and a streetcar named desire and other cody roberts with his book voodoo and power. sunday at 2:00 eastern on american history tv explore the exhibit new orleans, the founding era. >> florida is elevating its try centennial in 2018, we are 300 years old. the historic collection decided for the try centennial exhibition we want to look back at the city's earliest years and what it was like when the city developed. >> been a visit to one of the city's oldest restaurants. >> the food here takes a much larger piece than it does anywhere else. we live to eat in new orleans.
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>> watch c-span's cities tour in new orleans, louisiana saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's booktv and sunday at 2:00 on american history tv on c-span 3 working with cable affiliates as we explore america. >> sunday on q and a, filmmakers discuss their documentary hit and stay, a history of faith and resistance, about the actions of catholic activists who protested the vietnam war. >> as we understand the antiwar movement was mostly thought of as scruffy had college age protesters. here we are middle-aged clergy. it made the public think if they are against this war maybe i should reconsider it myself and that was a turning point for the antiwar movement. direction clearly didn't end the vietnam war but i don't see how you could argue that it didn't help end the draft.
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the head of the selective service said publicly that they felt they were under attack. clearly you can draw a line from what they did to the draft ending in 73. >> sunday at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. .. >> the chief scientist at food and drug and a c.d.c. official and the preparedness response and the subcommittee, live coverage on c-span2.

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