02/01/2016 Witness


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Now on BBC News, it is time for Witness.


Hello, and welcome to a special edition of Witness, with me, Tanya


Beckett. I am at the British library in London for the last time this


year to bring you five of our most striking films of 2015. We will hear


from the mother and daughter whose lives were changed forever by a


massive environmental disaster in Japan. A drummer who jammed with


Miles Davis on the album, Kind of Blue. And a breakthrough in the


relations between the US and Iran in a wrestling match. First, 75 years


since the Trotsky was assassinated at his home in Mexico. Our first


witness, Esteban, is the grandson of the Russian revolutionary. Mexico is


about the only land that will have him, so here it is, Trotsky, landing


with his wife. Once a partner of Lennon and commander of the Red


Remembering his grandfather in the country.


Remembering his grandfather in the house that has become a museum


dedicated to Trotsky's memory. In the 1950s, a mysterious epidemic had


swept through the small town of Minamata in Japan. It was only much


later revealed to be the result of mercury poisoning. We spoke to a


witness about the environmental disaster that hurt a family.


TRANSLATION: I cannot tell you how much I hate the chemical factory.


They devastated our ocean and people. I just hate it. People used


to say that life in Minamata was wonderful. The corporation was the


only one in Minamata. We are still frightened by the offer must of what


was leaked by the country. -- awfulness. It poisons the fish and


people that get them got Minamata disease. -- poisoned. -- ate. There


was no warning before the factory was built near the base. But the


corporation denied anything and continued to pump its waste into the


sea. TRANSLATION: That's got the disease before people. They became


blind and stands round and round like they were crazy. -- cats. Soon


became clear that people were suffering as well. TRANSLATION:


Miyumi was my first daughter. She could not eat fish well because she


was only three years old, but she could eat prawns by herself, so I


let her eat many. We thought that something might be wrong with


Miyumi. We thought she might have the strange disease. When her hands


started shaking, I realised, she had the disease. She became unable to


walk properly, unable to speak. Doctors from the local university


filmed the shaking for it. They suspected metal poisoning. -- fits.


TRANSLATION: When I visited her in hospital, she had lost her sight.


But, she could still hear. I said to her, Miyumi, your mother is here,


you do not have to cry any more. She gave me a sweet smile. It was her


last smile on January three of 1958 she died. -- third. -- smile.


By 1958, we knew it was caused by the corporation. They knew it was


caused by waste water pumped into the bay by the factory. They tried


to hide it. My second child Shinobu. She contracted Minamata disease in


the womb. I did not think it was possible. But, three months after


she was born, I noticed that something was wrong with her Shinobu


is now 59 he sold. -- years old. In 1959 the corporation offered her


some money. Her life cannot be replaced by money. And Fuji and


Shinobu still live in Minamata today. Next, 20 years ago, Iraq


decided to mark a thought in diplomatic relations by inviting a


US team to a wrestling match in Iran. -- thaw. It was the first time


in two decade that any US diplomatic visitors had stepped foot in Iranian


soil. -- decades. They are the best fans in the world, Iran, it is a


party. They chant and they have a guy with a whole and the sheer. --


horn and they cheer. It is just amazing. Before going to a round, we


knew there was a lot of tension between the US and Iran. -- Iran. We


were the first Americans go to Iran in about 20 years, since the hostage


crisis. We were a little nervous about the whole trip, but also, at


the same time, I was very excited about the trip because I was going


to get my first opportunity with Iran and compete against the best


wrestlers in the world. Iowa is the first American to wrestle an Iranian


in at least two decades. -- I was the. When I first walked up to him,


I knew he was the national champion for Iran, one of their better


wrestlers... I won't forget the match. He was strong, I and talking


real strong. It makes you a little nervous just watching it. -- I am.


There is so much energy in that room. He was their hometown


favourite. APPLAUSE. I ended up getting a score


early and had even turned him on top, which is very unusual, to be


able to turn and by bringing in the top position. In many Minamata then


he came back and got a scorer me. -- Then he. That was a defining moment


in the at. If he turned me again he would be able to keep pushing. --


score on me. -- in the match. He threw everything at me and I was on


the offence and I managed to shut down. He not only shook my hand


after the match, but he came up to me, and he gave me a kiss on the


cheek. And, it was me looking uncomfortable and in showing his


gratitude to wrestling and having a good match. Obviously, being an


American, we are not used to, especially after competition, or


anytime, but a male wanting to express himself kissing you on the


cheek. -- any time. I won the match, but they won the tournament as 18.


They are fantastic wrestlers. To be able to get on the map with and


Iranian and be able to win is a big deal. -- a team. -- an. There was


one they let us do at to see the city. They took us to the bazaar.


That is what it is called, it was also an. Many people, very friendly


towards us. -- it was awesome. My mother collect teapots so I bought a


very nice one for my wife and my mother. When I returned to the US we


got an invitation from Bill Clinton to go to the oval losses because he


wanted to know what our experience was like in Iran's. -- Oval Office.


-- Iran. He was very appreciative of what we did. He is still tough.


Still calf. And the real good shape of the would-be kind of fun to scrap


You can catch up on a thousand of against the -- tough.


You can catch up on a thousand of our programmes on radio archive.


Just go to this website. In the 1950s the Danish government removed


20 in Newark children and took them to Denmark. The Fx are still being


felt -- effects. This woman was taken from her family. .


TRANSLATION: In 1948 the authorities held a national conference with the


Danish colonial committee. They discussed sending children to learn


Danish. The idea was that they would return to Greenland and teach their


peers Danish. The authority sent out telegrams to priests and head


teachers in Greenland's coastal town. They requested to find bright


children in all those town. They had to be intelligent because they


needed to learn Danish quickly and they had to be between six and ten


years old. One day two grand colonial masters showed up and asked


my mum if she was willing to send me to Denmark. They said was a great


chance for me. The day I was leaving the Denmark we walked down to the


harbour with my little suitcase. From the boat I looked at my mum but


I could not way that her, I was too upset. I thought, why are you


letting me leave? In Denmark I was put with two different foster


family. The first was with a doctor outside Copenhagen. I did not feel


welcome and felt like a stranger. The second was like a fairytale


compared to the first. They were very warmhearted people. As far as


adults were concerned, I did not trust them. They had set me to


Denmark, so far away. The following year in 1952, 16 of us were sent to


Greenland. When the ship docked I ran down the bridge into the arms of


my mother and I talked about all that I had seen, but she did not


answer. Looked up at her in confusion. After a while she said


something but I could not understand a word she said. I thought, this is


awful, I cannot speak with my mother any more. We speak to different


languages. I barely recovered from the shock before the director tapped


my shoulder and said get on the bus we are going to the orphanage. I


thought I was going home to my mum. Why was I being sent to a


children's home? I just got on and could hardly see the town through my


tears. It was later revealed that at the conference in 1948, the Danish


Red Cross were present. They suggested that when the innuit


children come back to Greenland, a children's home should be built for


them. They thought we should not go back to worse conditions than we had


experienced in Denmark. With my mother, the relationship was never


really rebuilt. The way my mum gave in. It was in the days when


Greenland was a part of the colony. And they were masters in the worst


part of the words. As far as the Danish authorities are concerned I


felt disappointed. I've not been able to understand how they turned


us into an experiment. It is just in Conran 's ball and I'm still bitter


about it. I will be until the day I die. -- despicable. They received an


official apology from Save V Children -- the. Miles Davis


recorded and how will that changed transfer ever. Kind of blue was a


death record of all time. We made it on the day. To play with Miles Davis


was wobbly one of the best things you could do in the jazz world. I


was unpopular and he had the most popular jazz bands in the world. I


don't know what the magic is for most people. For me, it is the


feeling in the way the guys play. I love being there with them. I think


what got everybody about it was the sound. He could play really twitchy


-- pretty ballads. If you were a drummer and played the way he likes


you to play, it is not a test. He used to say, if I have someone in


the band and I found something off them and I can't get anything back,


then I know I have got the wrong guy.


Where are you going to work now? Right here. Ready? It was just


another Miles Davis record. When Miles came in there was no music. He


had the manuscript had but that he had written down a few things like


chord changes and something like that. That was probably the least --


I have ever had making a record -- pressure. He said make it seem like


you were floating. And that is the way he liked it. He always figured


the first take was going to be the best one anyway. He stopped the tape


one time because someone played a chord that he did not want. That is


the only time he stopped it. It wasn't hard. It was like we were at


a jam session or something. The rest of the world was playing structured


tunes and this was nothing like that. This is what they call modal


where you place chords and scale. It was easy on the ear. Ifan people who


did not know about Jazz liked it. By the time it was over I loved it --


even. Nobody thought it would be as big as it was going to be. Those are


some really great guys that I was playing with. They are not here any


more. And I think about them every day and I am going to love them to


the end. That is how it lasts. That is all from us here at Witness. We


will be back in 2016 with more tales of our times from around the globe.


Now, from me and the rest of the Witness team. Goodbye.


Hello. It looks like we will see wet and windy weather across most parts


of the UK again. Obviously, concerns are flooding but especially eastern


Scotland where the


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