TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

New York Magazine penned a shocking exposé alleging that the Manhattan district attorney’s office may have failed to prosecute Harvey Weinstein in 2015 for alleged sexual harassment because of the film mogul’s political connections. Now, Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the state attorney general to review the office’s handling of the case. The details ahead with the magazine’s features editor, Eric Bates. The East Village is losing a piece of their community, one mom and pop shop at a time. As a part of our “Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America” multi-platform reporting initiative, correspondent Naeem Douglas brings us an inside look at a dying small business. This weekend kids and families will join the March For Our Lives event, demanding an end to gun violence in our schools. The rally follows a long history of student uprisings here in America. Tonight we’ll take a look back with Dr. Yohuru Williams in an effort to look forward.

Aired on March 22, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' TO CATCH A PREDATOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE SAYS THAT SY VANCE LOOKED THE OTHER WAY WHEN IT CAME TO PROSECUTING HARVEY WINESTEIN.

> THE BIG BOX BATTLE AGAINST SMALL BUSINESS, AS A PART OF OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE, A LOOK AT A DYING ONE.

THE EAST VILLAGE IS LOSING A PIECE OF THEIR COMMUNITY ONE MOM AND POP SHOP AT A TIME.

> AND THE UPCOMING MARCH FOR OUR LIVES EVENT IS HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND.

WE'RE TAKING A LOOK BACK TO LOOK FORWARD.

ALL THAT AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANNIGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS ALSO PROVIDED BY THE J.P.B.

FOUNDATION AND THE FORD FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JACK FORD, GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS DIRECTED THE STATE'S ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE -- JUST HOW DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE'S OFFICE HANDLED A 2015 SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATION AGAINST THE DISGRACED MOVIE MOGUL HARVEY WINESTEIN.

THE ACTIVIST FROM THE ME TOO MOVEMENT CALLED ON VANCE TO ACT.

THE FOCUS IS SPECIFICALLY ON THE CASE OF AN ITALIAN MODEL WHO PROVIDED POLICE OFFICERS WITH A RECORDINGS OF HARVEY WINESTEIN APOLOGIZING WHEN SHE ASKED HIM WHY HE HAD GROPED HER BREASTS THE DAY BEFORE.

A NEW YORK MAGAZINE FEATURE PIECE SELLS ABOUT ALANA'S STORY IN DEPTH AND DETAILS HOW THE EFFORTS OF THE NYPD SEX CRIMES INVESTIGATION TEAM FAILED TO INVESTIGATE WINESTEIN.

LET ME ASK YOU TO GIVE OUR VIEWERS A LITTLE BIT MORE OF AN EXPANSIVE VIEW OF THE ALLEGATIONS THAT AMBRA BROUGHT TO THE POLICE ABOUT HER CONTACT WITH HARVEY WINESTEIN.

SHE WALKED INTO A PRECINCT IN MARCH OF 2015, AND SAID THAT SHE HAD BEEN GROPED BY HARVEY WINESTEIN THE NIGHT BEFORE.

SHE HAD GONE TO HIS OFFICE TO TALK ABOUT POSSIBLE ROLES HE WOULD HAVE FOR HER.

AND WHEN SHE GOT THERE, HE ASKED IF HER BREASTS WERE REAL.

S HE PUT HIS HAND UP HER SKIRT AND GROPED.

I MENTIONED IN THE INTRODUCTION THAT ONE OF THE ASPECTS OF THESE ALLEGATIONS THAT ARE CERTAINLY DIFFERENT FROM SOME OF THE OTHER ALLEGATIONS THAT WE HAVE SEEN OUT THERE WAS THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO GET HARVEY WINESTEIN ESSENTIALLY ON TAPE TALKING ABOUT THIS.

HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?

IT HAPPENED ACTUALLY WHILE SHE WAS TALKING TO THE DETECTIVES IN GIVING HER STATEMENT, WINESTEIN CALLED HER UP AND ASKED HER WHY SHE HADN'T SHOWN UP AT THE BROADWAY THEATER FOR THE SHOW HE HAD GOTTEN HER TICKETS FOR.

AND THE POLICE THINKING VERY QUICKLY THAT THIS WAS WHAT THEY CALLED A CONTROL CALL, AN OPPORTUNITY TO RECORD WINESTEIN AND EFFECTIVELY GET AN ADMISSION ON TAPE S.

SO THEY COACHED HER ABOUT WHAT TO SAY.

AND THEN AT THAT POINT WITHIN BASICALLY AN HOUR OR SO, THE INVESTIGATION BEGINNING HAD A TAPED ADMISSION FROM HARVEY WINESTEIN.

Z

I'M A FORMER PROSECUTOR, ALSO A FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY.

SO LOOKING AT WHAT YOU HAVE CLAIMED SO FAR, I'M SAYING THIS IS SOUNDING PRETTY SOLID IN TERMS OF A CASE HERE.

WHAT THEN CHANGES?

AND SOME OF THE CHARACTERSMICHA INVESTIGATOR HANDLING THE CASE.

THEY REALIZED THEY HAD TO HA HANDLE THIS CASE DIFFERENTLY.

THEY PUT NONE OF THEIR RECORDS ON THE NYPD SYSTEM, THEY GAVE REPORTS TO EACH OTHER ONLY ORALLY, NOT IN WRITING, THEY LIMITED THEIR INVESTIGATION TO ONLY SIX OFFICERS, BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT WINESTEIN WOULD LAWYER UP AND TRY TO BRING PRESSURE ON THEM TO DROP THE INVESTIGATION.

WHAT'S FASCINATING FROM THE VERY SMART, THEY DEBATED WHETHER TO CALL ATTORNEY SY VANCE.

THE CASE GOT BETTER ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, BECAUSE THE POLICE USED THE CALL TO SET UP A MEETING THE NEXT DAY.

AT THAT MEETING WHICH THE POLICE RECORDED, THEY AGAIN GOT WINESTEIN ON TAPE ADMITTING THAT HE HAD MOLESTED HER.

THEY APPROACHED HIM TO BRING HIM DOWN TO THE STATION HOUSE, AND HE IMMEDIATELY BEGAN TO THREATEN THE DETECTIVES SAYING, I KNOW THE POLICE COMMISSIONER, I'M GOING TO CALL THE MAYOR AND WHEN THEY TOOK HIM INTO THE POLICE STATION AND WHEN HE HEARD THAT B SHE -- THE LAWYERS HE HIRED WERE DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO SY VANCE'S OFFICE.

THE LAWYERS THEN HIRED THE WOMAN WHO WAS THE HEAD OF VANCE'S OWN SEX CRIMES UNIT.

SO THE FORMER PROSECUTOR IN CHARGE OF SEX CRIMES FOR THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY WAS NOW WORKING ON WINESTEIN'S BEHALF.

SO VANCE IMMEDIATELY WAS FACING A TEAM OF VERY HIGH POWERED LAWYERS WHO HE KNEW PERSONALLY AND WHO HAD WORKED FOR HIM AND WITH HIS TEAM.

THE POLICE FROM THAT MOMENT BEGAN TO FEEL THAT THEY WEREN'T ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANYMORE.

THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ACCORDING TO OUR SOURCES WENT TO AMBER'S APARTMENT, BEGAN TO INTERROGATE HER ROOMMATE, ASKED IF SHE WAS A PROSTITUTE, ASKED IF SHE WERE A STRIPPER, ASKED TO LOOK AT THE APARTMENT BUILDING'S VIDEO CAMERA, TO SEE WHO SHE WAS BRINGING HOME.

AND BATALANA WHEN SHE HEARD THIS BEGAN TO CRY AND WAS VERY UPSET AND THE POLICE BECAME CONVINCED THAT VANCE WAS ACTIVELY WORKING TO DISCREDIT --

THE NYPD WORKS AS AN INVESTIGATIVE BRANCH, THEY WORK IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MANHATTAN ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, MOST CASES ARE COMING THROUGH THE NYPD, THROUGH THOSE CHANNELS IF YOU WILL.

AND I EXPECT VIEWERS WILL SAY, AREN'T THEY PARTNERS IN ALL OF THIS?

WHY WOULD THERE BE A DIVISION HERE, AND I SHOULD NOTE, AND YOU KNOW, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THE WITNESS'S ACCOUNT DOES NOT -- THE TWO OFFICES, QUOTE, ARE FULLY COMMITTED PARTNERS IN THEIR INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

NOW LOOKING AT YOUR -- THE CONVERSATION YOUR REPORTERS HAVE HAD AND ESPECIALLY WITH CHIEF OSGOOD, WHY DO THEY BELIEVE, DO YOU THINK, THAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WAS TRYING TO, USING THE WORDS THAT WERE USED IN THE ARTICLE, TO DERAIL THIS INVESTIGATION INTO HARVEY WINESTEIN?

WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THAT THEY FEARED THAT FROM THE VERY START OF THE INVESTIGATION.

AND I THINK THAT'S IN PART BECAUSE OF THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE AND WORKING WITH THEM AND IT'S IN PART THAT THE CLOUT THAT THEY KNEW WINESTEIN WOULD BRING TO BEAR.

YOU'RE RIGHT, THE POLICE AND THE PROSECUTORS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING TOGETHER TO BRING SOLID CASES AND TO BRING PERPETRATORS TO JUSTICE.

THEY HAVE TO FIGURE OUT IS THIS GOING TO HOLD UP IN COURT, AND IS THE JURY GOING TO BELIEVE THE WITNESS AND THE VICTIM?

SO THEY DO HAVE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS WITHIN THE SYSTEM BUT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE SAME TEAM.

BUT THE POLICE CLEARLY DID NOT FEEL THAT THE DA'S OFFICE WAS NOT ON THE TEAM AND THAT'S BECAUSE OF POLITICS.

THE POLICE ARE LARGELY ALLOWED TO INVESTIGATE ON THEIR OWN.

THE DA IS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL, HE MOVES AMONG THE POWER CENTERS OF THE CITY, I THINK THE POLICE FELT THAT THE DA WAS GOING TO SIDE WITH THE PERSON WHO HAD THE MOST CLOUT, RATHER THAN THE PERSON WHO HAD A CRIME PERPETRATED AGAINST THEM.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU THEN.

IT HAPPENS OCCASIONALLY, AND IT'S HAPPENED TO ME.

WHERE A PROSECUTOR HAS TO SAY TO THE INVESTIGATORS, I UNDERSTAND YOUR ZEAL TO GET THIS PERSON OFF THE STREETS.

HOWEVER, WE HAVE DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS, YOU PUT TOGETHER A CASE, THERE'S ENOUGH THERE, WHAT'S CALLED PROBABLE CAUSE TO GET AN INDICTMENT, BUT I AS THE PROSECUTOR HAVE TO TRY IT AND I HAVE TO PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT TO GET A CONVICTION.

WHAT I HAVE TO SAY TO INVESTIGATORS IS IF WE BRING A HIGH PROFILE CASE SUCH AS THIS, AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TO PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT WE'RE GOING TO LOOK BAD AND THE CASE GOES AWAY.

WHAT DID YOU FIND THE RESPONSE WAS, CHIEF OSGOOD AND THE INVESTIGATORS TO WHEN THE DA SAID, YOU DIDN'T BRING US ENOUGH TO GET A CONVICTION, YOU DIDN'T BRING US PROOF BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

WHAT'S INTERESTING IS HOW ANGRY IS OFFICERS WHO WORKED ON THE CASE STILL ARE THREE YEARS LATER ABOUT THE DA'S DECISION.

THEY FELT THEY HAD MORE THAN ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR PROBABLE CAUSE AND REASONABLE DOUBT.

ONE OF THEM POINTED OUT, I THINK ONE OF THEM DID POINT OUT, BUT ONE OF THE ONES THEY CAME UP WITH IS, THIS IS A MISDEMEANOR CHARGE, PEOPLE ARE CHARGED ALL THE TIME FOR GROPING WOMEN ON THE SUBWAY WITH FAR LESS EVIDENCE THAN THEY HAD AGAINST HARVEY WINESTEIN, WITH EFFECTIVELY TWO COMMISSIONS OF THE CRIME.

THE POLICE KNEW WHAT THEY WERE FACING AND THEY KNEW THAT THE BAR WAS GOING TO BE MUCH HIGHER IN THIS CASE AND THEY FELT THEY MORE THAN CLEARED THAT BAR.

IT WAS A COMPELLING AND REALLY PROVOCATIVE ARTICLE AND WE APPRECIATE YOU SPENDING YOUR TIME AND SHARING SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WITH US.

YOU TAKE CARE.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

> SMALL MOM AND POP STORES ARE A HALLMARK OF NEW YORK CITY LIVING, BUT CHANGING CONSUMER BEHAVIOR AS WELL AS RISING RENTS ARE FORCING MANY OF THEIR STORES TO CLOSE THEIR DOORS AND IN MANY CASES THEY CAN LIE VACANT FOR YEARS.

WE WENT TO NEW YORK'S EAST VILLAGE, ASKING RESIDENTS HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT LOSING THESE ONE-TIME STAPLES OF THEIR COMMUNITY.

YOU KNOW THEM, THEY'RE PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY.

THEY LIVED JUST ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE SHUTTERED CLAY WORKS THAT WAS ON 39th STREET FOR 34 YEARS, THE SPACE HAS BEEN VACANT SINCE IT CLOSED LAST YEAR.

THE ARGYLE NEXT TO IT IS ALSO EMPTY.

THEY AGREE, SHOPS COMING AND GOING IS PART OF THE LIFE OF SMALL BUSINESSES.

BUT THEY'RE BEING REPLACED BY CHAINS IF AT ALL.

IT'S LIKE BIG BOX MAKING ALL THE MONEY AND GOING SOMEWHERE.

MELANIE COPPER SMITH RUNS COBBLESTONE, SHE'S ONE OF MANY SMALL BUSINESSES AND HER BOUTIQUE IS ONE OF THE LONGEST RUNNING STORES ON THE BLOCK.

MY VIEW IS YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL THE SAME.

YOU GOT YOUR BANKS, BUT THE THINGS THAT MAKES NEW YORK GREAT, THAT'S ALL BEING TAKE ON AWAY, YOU KNOW?

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IS HAVING THESE SMALL MOM AND POP SHOPS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO LIVE?

I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT.

TO ME ESPECIALLY A BIG PLACE LIKE MANHATTAN THAT CAN BE VERY COLD AND LONELY IN SOME WAYS.

AND CONTINUITY IS VERY IMPORTANT.

SOME HAVE TOYED WITH THE IDEA OF REZONING THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO KEEP BIG BOX STORES OUT.

WHETHER WE CAN PASS LEGISLATION WHETHER IT CAN BE PASSED ON TO THE SENATE OR WE'RE LOOKING AT THE 20th CENTURY SMALL BUSINESS SURVIVAL ACT.

WE'RE LOOKING AT A SPECIAL DISTRICT OVERLAY TO LIMIT THE SIZE OF STORE FRONTS AND MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE ATTRACTING RETAIL THAT IS DIVERSE, AFFORDABLE AND PROMPT.

RIGHT NOW WE'RE LOOKING AT A LOT OF ART GALLERIES, EATING AND DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS.

SOME OF THE REASONS IS THOSE DON'T OPEN UNTIL THE NIGHTTIME.

THAT MAKES IT LESS APPEALING FOR PEOPLE TO COME HERE AND WANT TO SHOP.

Reporte

THE EAST SIDE --

A LOT OF WHAT WE DO IN COMMUNITY BOARD THREE IS TRY TO CONNECT BUSINESSES TO SOME OF OUR CITY AGENCIES THAT PROVIDE FREE SERVICES, LIKE THE SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES WOULD HAVE FREE LEGAL HELP.

LAST YEAR THE AGENCY THAT THAT CONNECTING ENTREPRENEURS TO $30 MILLION IN CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTING THE CITY'S SMALL BUSINESSES.

THE MOST IMPORTANT IS THAT CONSUMER BEHAVIOR IS CHANGING.

SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT SMALL BUSINESSES KNOW HOW TO MARKET THEIR SMALL BUSINESS AND CONNECT WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY.

BECAUSE SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE.

THEY KNOW THE COMMUNITY, THEY KNOW THEIR CUSTOMERS.

BWHEN WE FIRST OPENED, WE WEE MORE LIKE A CANDY STORE, WE HAD CIGARETTES, LOTTERY TICKETS, NEWSPAPERS, ALL KINDS OF LITTLE THINGS THAT -- BECAUSE WE WERE BASICALLY JUST SURVIVISURVIVING WOULD SELL ANYTHING WE COULD TO PROVIDE.

PEOPLE ALWAYS LIKED THE HOME MADE HONEST SIMPLE EUROPEAN FOO.

SO I SLOWLY LOOK IT IN THAT DIRECTION.

HE'S HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE OF HAVING AN UNDERSTANDING LANDLORD.

OUR LANDLORD IS A UKRAINIAN NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION, AND OBVIOUSLY WE VALUE HAVING THEM AS A LANDLORD.

BUT FOR MANY SMALL BUSINESSES, THE SPECTOR OF DRAMATICALLY INCREASED RENTS LOOMS LARGE AND SHUTTERED BUSINESSES ARE A SIGNAL OF WHAT'S DOWN THE PIKE.

THIS IS JAMES AND CARLA MURRAY, THEY PUBLISHED THREE BOOKS ON IT.

IN THE TIME IT TOOK US TO COMPILE THE BOOK, THE PHOTOS FROM OUR FIRST BOOK WHICH CAME OUT IN 2008, ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THE BUSINESSES THAT WE HAD DOCUMENTED AT THAT POINT THAT MADE IT IN THE BOOK CLOSED.

TODAY IT'S OVER 80% HAVE CLOSED SINCE THAT FIRST BOOK.

SO FROM 2008 TO 2018, WE WENT FROM 30% TO OVER 80%, AND THAT NUMBER IS INCREASING ALMOST ON A DAILY BASIS.

INITIALLY THEY STARTED TAKING PHOTOS OF STORE FRONTS, BUT QUICKLY LEARNED THEY WERE CAPTURING A FADING HISTORY.

WE ARE TRYING TO CELEBRATE THE ONES THAT WERE STILL OPEN, BECAUSE WE DIDN'T TAKE PICTURES OF CLOSED STORES, WE TOOK PICTURES OF OPEN VIBRANT BUSINESSES.

IT'S AN OLD ITALIAN FAMILY BUSINESS, AND HE TOLD US THAT IF HE'S EVER -- IF THE RENT EVER GETS TOO MUCH FOR HIM, THAT'S IT, HE'S CLOSING THE BUSINESS, BECAUSE HE CAN'T MOVE ANYWHERE, THE RENTS ARE HIGH EVERYWHERE.

NIAM DOUGLAS FOR 'METROFOCUS.'

> THIS WEEKEND, THOUSANDS, IF NOT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS WILL DESCEND ON THE NATION'S CAPITOL.

THE EPIDEMIC OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS THAT FOR MANY STARTED A COLUMBINE.

THROUGHOUT RECENT HISTORY, WE HAVE SEEN STUDENT UPRISINGS, THE TUMULTUOUS '6 CE TO MIND.

JOG U TBACK, STN OFSO JONES.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK BACK IF WE WOULD AND YOU AND I OFF CAMERA BEFORE WE GOT STARTED HERE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE LATE '60s AND THE EARLY '70s TALKING ABOUT CIVIL RIGHTS PROTESTS, THE A ANTI-WAR PROTESTS.

LET ME START WITH THE CIVIL RIGHTS PROTESTS.

TALK ABOUT THE ROLE THE STUDENTS PLAYED IN THE EARLY '60s, THE MID 0 THE LATE '6 IN TERMSHE PRT EFFEESS OF TI NT ACTIVISASRIL TO THE CIVIL LRIGHTS MEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES.

WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THE PROTESTS IN THAT ERA, THE STUDENTS WHERE ARE DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY IN TERMS OF PROTESTS AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR, THIS WAS AN ERA IN WHICH STUDENTS REALLY TOOK TO THE STREETS TO PROTEST WHAT THEY SAW AS PROBLEMS THAT WERE FUNDAMENTAL TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, BUT PART OF THE MOTIVATION FOR THAT MOMENT IS THOSE WERE IMPACTING THEM.

WE HAD STUDENTS FROM NORTH TO SO SOUTH--IN THE CASE OF ANTI-WAR PROTESTS, AND THAT OBVIOUSLY WAS VERY DAMAGING.

SO THEY HAD DESIRES TO PROTEST THE VIETNAM WAR, FROM THE STAND POINT THAT THEY BELIEVED THAT IT WAS AN IMMORAL WAR.

AS YOU SEE YOUNG PEOPLE, WE'RE LOOKING AT THIS EPIDEMIC OF THE SHOOTINGS TOSAY,HIS IS DANGERANRIMENT TO US WE NEEDO DO SOMETHING TO RESPOND.

ME TAKE LOOK AT BOTH OF THOSE AREAS, WE'LL START WITH CIVIL RIGHTS, YOU MENTIONED, YOU HAD YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WERE SAYING, THERE'S SOMETHING TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THIS NOTION, SEPARATE BUT EQUAL, IT TOOK UNTIL 1954 FOR THE UNITED STATES TO SAY YOU CANNOT BE SEPARATE AND STILL BE EQUAL.

AND EVEN AFTER THAT BOARD OF EDUCATION DECISION, IT TOOK DECADES FOR THAT TO BE IMP IMPLEMENTED, SO WE SAW STUDENTS WHO SAID WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING HERE.

GIVE US A SENSE OF SOME OF THE THINGS FOR THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THAT STUDENTS DID MORE THAN JUST SAYING WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS, RATHER THAN SAYING WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?

THAT'S THE ESSENTIAL PIECE IS THAT THE STUDENTS RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS LIMITATIONS TO WHAT THE NAACP WAS ABLE TO DO IN TERMS OF THEIR LEGAL STRATEGY, SO FOLLOWING BROWN VERSUS BOARD OF EDUCATION, WHEN THE STATE STILL PROVED TO BE RETICENT GUILT ENSURES THE RIGHTS ABOUT AMERICANS, YOU HAVE THE NAACP -- BUT THE FOREFRONT OF THAT WAS STUDENTS, LIKE THE STUDENTS AT NORTH CAROLINA WERE SITTING AT A LUNCH COUNTER.

TO GO AND TO MAKE THE PRONOUNCEMENT TO THE COURT REAL BY ACTUALLY TESTING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE LAW.

YOU HAVE STUDENTS IN 1960 WHO ENGAGED IN THE FREEDOM RIDE, THERE HAD BEEN A RULING BY THE SUPREME COURT IN 1946 THAT THERE WAS NO SEGREGATION IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE.

YOU HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE IN COLLEGES, BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WHO SAID THE ONLY WAY TO TEST THIS IS TO GO OUT AND TO ENTER THOSE ESTABLISHMENTS AND MAKE THE NATION RESPOND, MAKE THOSE STATES RESPOND, MAKE THOSE GOVERNORS RESPONDS TO THOSE DEMANDS.

YOU ALSO HAVE ACTIVISM IN A MYRIAD OF WAYS.

AGAIN THE STUDENTS WERE DOING THIS, BECAUSE NOT ONLY WERE THEY IMPACTED BY IT, BUT THEY RECOGNIZED THAT THE POWER OF THEIR EXAMPLE COULD REALLY CATCH FIRE, THAT IT COULD INSPIRES OTHERS TO ACT.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ANTI-WAR PROTESTS, AS WE KNOW IT TOOK A WHILE FOR A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THIS NATION TO START TO OPPOSE THEIR PRESENCE IN VIETNAM.

WE KNOW ABOUT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON NOVEMBER 1969, TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT YOUNG PEOPLE WERE DOING IN TERMS OF FOCUSING ON WHY WE NEEDED TO GET OUT OF VIETNAM.

.

YOU HAVE ENOUGH YOUNG PEOPLE DURING THE 1960s TAKING A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT STRATEGIES TO PROTEST THE WAR IN VIETNAM, MOST OF THE TIME WHEN WE THINK OF VIETNAM WAR PROTESTS, WOULD BURN TH THEIR -- YOU HAD YOUNG PEOPLE REALLY CLAMORING FOR INFORMATION, TRYING TO PUT PRESSURE ON GOVERNMENT TO BE MORE TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AND AN EFFORT BY ACTIVIST ORGANIZATIONS TO REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT WOULD OFFER THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO GET THE NATION TO RECOGNIZE WHAT THEY SAW AS A FUNDAMENTALLY IMMORAL WAR IN VIETNAM.

LONG BEFORE DR. KING COMES OUT AGAINST THE WAR IN 1964, WHITE STUDENT ACTIVISTS AT A HOST OF INSTITUTIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY RAISING THE SAME ISSUES SAYING THIS WAS A FUNDAMENTAL -- THIS WAS A WAR THAT WAS FUNDAMENTALLY AGAINST THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRATIC PRACTICE.

WHAT SORT OF LESSONS DO YOU THINK THE USE OF TODAY WHO ENGAGED IN IN MOVEMENT, WHAT SORT OF LESSONS DO YOU THINK THEY CAN GLEAN FROM THE ACTIONS OF THE STUDENTS IN THE 60s AND THE 70s.

THE FIRST IS TO HAVE VERY CLEAR DEMANDS.

ONE OF THE REASONS THAT CIVIL RIGHTS PROTESTS PROVED TO BE SO FRUITFUL BECAUSE THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE -- WHEN YOU HAVE A MOVEMENT THAT'S ILL DEFINED, IT DFILT TO PREST A TANGIBLEET OF DEMANDS.

ONE DAY OF ACTION IS NOT GOING TO PRODUCE THE TYPE OF SYSTEMIC CHANGE THAT YOU WANT TO SEE.

THIS DAY OF ACTION COMING UP THIS WEEKEND, IS IMPORTANT, BUT ALL IN ALL, THE FACT IS THAT THIS PRESSURE WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE.

WE SAW THAT WITH THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, WE SAW THAT WITH THE PROTESTS AGAINST THE WAR IN VIETNAM.

AND THE LAST THING PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND, IT'S GOING TO TAKE A MASS MOBILIZE AND MASS ORGANIZING IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

AND THAT'S THE IDEA THAT YOU MARCHED ON WASHINGTON BECAUSE IT'S THE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE.

IT IS THE NATION'S EPICENTER, IN THE SAME WAY THAT IF YOU WANTED TO MARCH ON ALBANY, YOU DO SO IN LARGE NUMBERS AND SUFFICIENT NUMBERS TO COMMUNICATE THE DEPTH OF THAT ORGANIZATIONAL STUFF AND HOW COMMITTED YOU ARE TO SEE CHANGE.

WE'RE TOLD ALSO THAT THE PAST CAN BE A PRO LOG, AND YOU HAVE GIVEN US A GREAT UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAST AND HOW THEY INFLUENCE THE FUTURE.

I WANT TO COME AND TAKE ONE OF YOUR COURSES THERE IN ST. THOMAS SOMETIME.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND WE'LL HAVE YOU BACK ON TO TALK MORE.

> FOR MORE ON THE MARCH FOR OUR LIVES, YOU CAN GO SEARCH MARCHFOROURLIVES.COM.

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

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