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Jul 272018
 

Here is a Transcript excerpt from “Democracy Now”  (https://www.democracynow.org/2018/7/27/noam_chomsky_on_alexandria_ocasio_cortezs; obtained on 7-27-2018) “Noam Chomsky on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Spectacular’ Victory & Growing Split in Democratic Party”:

“AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go back to the interview with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has really upended the Democratic Party, and the kind of message this candidate of Puerto Rican descent in New York has sent to the entire party, I think the Republican Party, as well. But this is what she says about immigration.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIOCORTEZ: We have to occupy all of it. We need to occupy every airport, we need to occupy every border, we need to occupy every ICE office, until those kids are back with their parents, period.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, the right-wing media—for example, Fox News and others—have kept—have written about this over and over since she made this comment about occupying airports. Interestingly, her area of Queens and Bronx include Rikers Island and LaGuardia Airport. Noam Chomsky?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, I think we just had a very dramatic illustration of what courageous opposition to these atrocious policies can do—namely, the young Swedish woman who prevented an airplane from taking off because it was deporting an Afghan man to almost certain murder.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam, let me go to the young Swedish woman, the student who you just raised, who stood up—

NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: —on the plane, this flight from Gothenburg, Sweden, to Istanbul, because she understood that an Afghan refugee was on the flight, as you pointed out, and she live-streamed what she did next. This is what Elin Ersson had to say.

ELIN ERSSON: I’m not going to sit down until this person is off the plane, because he will most likely get killed if he is on this plane when it goes up.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Elin Ersson. And when one of the angry passengers threatened her, threatened to take her phone away, and then a flight attendant grabbed it back, she went on to say—when passengers talked about being inconvenienced, she said, ‘They’re not going to die. He’s going to die.’ And there were many on the plane, actually, who supported her in her protest, until the Afghan refugee was removed from that flight on orders of the pilot.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Yeah, that was a very inspiring act and an indication of what could be achieved by really large-scale civil disobedience. Here’s one young woman standing up alone to try to prevent a person from being killed in difficult and hostile conditions. Large-scale civil disobedience could achieve a great deal more. But I would again urge that we think in broader terms. We should be considering why people are fleeing from their homes. Not because they want to live in slums in New York. They’re fleeing from their homes because their homes are unlivable, and they’re unlivable, largely, because of things that we have done. Overwhelmingly, that’s the reason. That tells you right away what the solution to the crisis is: rebuild what we’ve destroyed, compensate for the atrocities that we’ve carried out. Then the flow of refugees will decline. And for those who come with asylum pleas, they should be accommodated in a humane and civilized way. Maybe it’s impossible to imagine that we can reach the level of civilization of the poor countries that are absorbing refugees. But it doesn’t—it shouldn’t seem entirely out of reach.”

 

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