tv Democracy Now LINKTV May 26, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
05/26/15 05/26/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> with today's vote, we have disclosed who we are -- a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people. yes to inclusion yes to generosity yes to love yes people marriage. amy: ireland has become the first country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote as 62% of this catholic country backed a
referendum. we will go to belfast for the latest. then we will go to el salvador where more than 300,000 gathered for the beatification of the late archbishop oscar romero when was gunned down in 1980 while saying mass. >> we authorize oscar romero, bishop and martyr, pastor. according to the heart of christ evangelize her and father to the poor, heroic witness of the reign of god reign of justice for eternity and peace. here on shall be called beatified. amy: but first we go to cleveland, ohio where dozens of people have been arrested protesting officer michael brelo for the fatal shootings of two unarmed african-americans in their car. police fired a total of 137
rounds at the car. brelo mounted the car's hood and fired at least 15 shots at point-blank range through the windshield. >> [indiscernible] they are killing kids. they're killing women. they're doing whatever they wanted to and nobody is not even doing nothing about it. amy: we will go to cleveland for the latest. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. iraqi forces have launched an offensive to reclaim anbar province from the self-proclaimed islamic state. thousands of iraqi troops and shiite militias have been massing around the isil-held city of ramadi in preparation for the assault. the announcement comes after us
-- defense secretary ash carter criticized the iraqi forces' retreat from ramadi, telling cnn they lacked the will to fight. >> what apparently happened was that the iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered. in fact, they vastly outnumber the opposing force. and yet they failed to fight they withdrew from the site and that says to me, and i think to most of us that we have an issue with the will of the iraqis to fight isil and defend themselves. amy: on monday, vice president joe biden spoke to iraqi prime minister haider al-abadi to reaffirm u.s. support following carter's remarks. in yemen, forces loyal to exiled president abed rabbo mansour hadi have reclaimed the southern city of dhale from shiite houthi rebels, marking their first major victory since saudi arabia
began bombing the rebels in march. saudi-led airstrikes pounded the yemeni capital sanaa over the weekend as officials announced u.n.-sponsored peace talks aimed at easing the crisis have been postponed indefinitely. in saudi arabia, tens of thousands of people attended the mass funeral for 21 shiites killed last week in a suicide bombing claimed by the self-proclaimed islamic state. it was one of the deadliest attacks to hit saudi arabia in recent years. east african leaders have planned a meeting for next sunday to discuss the political crisis in burundi where a crackdown on protesters has killed at least 20 people. the protests erupted last month over president pierre nkunrunziza's bid for a third term in office. on monday, the president's opponents boycotted peace talks over the assassination of opposition leader zedi feruzi, who was shot dead by unknown gunmen. more than 100,000 people have fled the violence, many pouring into tanzania, where 3000
burundian refugees have now been sickened in a cholera epidemic. ireland has become the first country in history to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote. 62% of voters backed marriage equality in a resounding win. supporters celebrated the victory in the traditionally conservative catholic country, where homosexuality was only decriminalized in 1993. >> we're living in a different country that includes everyone. we have come such a long way. we are proud. amy: in spain, an anti-evictions activist has been elected mayor of barcelona while across the country the ruling people's party has suffered its worst local election results in more than 20 years. ada coleau co-founded the anti-eviction group platform for people affected by mortgages and was an active member of the indignados, or 15-m movement. she has vowed to fine banks with empty homes on their books, stop
evictions, expand public housing, set a minimum monthly wage of $670, force utility companies to lower prices and slash the mayoral salary. colau's party, barcelona en comú, a grassroots movement of leftist groups, which includes the anti-austerity podemos party, won 11 of the city council's 41 seats, meaning she will need to form alliances to govern. she celebrated her historic victory, which will also see her become the first woman mayor of barcelona. >> we are proud. this is not happening in barcelona alone. this is a democratic revolution. it is unstoppable and it is happening in spain. we hope to see it happen all over the south of europe. amy: in madrid, the candidate of the podemos-backed grassroots coalition ahora madrid, manuela carmena, has won a close second in the mayoral race, but is still expected to become mayor by forming a coalition with the socialists. carmena is a retired judge and former member of spain's underground communist party who
fought labor restrictions as an attorney under dictator francisco franco. the dual victories of colau and carmena put grassroots women in control of spain's two largest cities, as leftist coalitions are expected to take local governments and other key cities across spain. the justice department has reached an agreement with cleveland over a pattern of what it calls unreasonable and unnecessary force by police. a probe last year found chaotic and dangerous abuse across hundreds of cases. this comes just days after an acquittal in a case that helped launch the probe. on saturday, officer michael brelo was found not guilty of manslaughter for the fatal shootings of two unarmed african-americans in their car. in november 2012, brelo was one of 13 officers who fired 137 rounds at timothy russell and malissa williams after a chase which began when officers mistook a backfiring care for gunshots. officer brelo personally fired 49 shots, at least 15 of them at point-blank range through the
windshield after he climbed onto the hood of the car. we'll go to cleveland for more after headlines. the obama administration's authority to collect americans' phone records in bulk will likely expire next week after senators from both parties rejected attempts to extend it. first, the republican-led senate rejected a house-passed measure to curb bulk spying by keeping the records with phone companies instead of the government. the senate then rejected a bid by senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to extend the current bulk spying program for two months. next, republican senator rand paul, democratic senator ron wyden and democratic senator martin heinrich shot down attempts by mcconnell to extend the powers by as little as one day. the senate adjourned and will reconvene may 31, the day before -- may 30, the day before the program expires. they will reconvene on may 31. the senate has approved a measure to give president obama fast-track authority to negotiate the secretive trans-pacific partnership trade deal, then introduce it to congress with no amendments allowed.
critics, including a number of democratic lawmakers, oppose the tpp, saying it will fuel inequality, kill jobs, and undermine health, environmental and financial regulations. the fast-track bill will head to the house next month, where it is expected to face a tougher battle. in india, at least 800 people have reportedly died in a scorching heat wave, as temperatures climb toward 50 degrees celsius, or 122 degrees fahrenheit. the southern state of andhra pradesh is the worst-hit, with more than 550 deaths in the past week, while over 230 have died in neighboring telangana state. in the capital, major roads have melted. extreme weather in texas oklahoma and across the border in mexico has killed at least 17 people. in the mexican border city of ciudad acuña, 13 people were killed when a tornado wrecked homes and slammed cars against buildings. in texas and oklahoma, storms and record-setting floods have
killed at least four people while 12 remain missing. ken bell, emergency management coordinator for san marcos, said the flooding is the worst the region has ever seen. >> it is the largest flood in the history of this region, so it is significant in its impact. it is different than any flood we've ever had. amy: the heat wave and floods come as protests against the fossil fuel companies largely responsible for human-driven -- climate change faced protests across the united states. on sunday in santa barbara california following an oil spill which has killed wildlife and soiled beaches. in bellingham, washington, two protesters suspended themselves from the anchor chain of a ship to oppose shell's plans to drill for oil in the arctic. chiara d'angelo hung from the anchor on friday while the low protester matt fuller joined her for 22 hours. the university of hawaii has voted to divest its $66 million
endowment from fossil fuel becoming the largest university to heed the growing divestment movement. thousands of people around took part in saturday's third annual march against the agribusiness giant monsanto. the protests spanned six continents and 48 countries, with more than 450 actions planned. in mexico city, hundreds protested monsanto's pesticides and genetically modified foods. collects most of our food, especially the basic grains, are thinner schmidt for all human beings. -- are the nourishment for all human beings. in the methods they use to grow the seeds poisonous with pesticides. these harm the earth kill all diversity, and they're making us sick. i think it is incredibly important because it has to do with the people's health, the health of the planet, and the health of the environment that sustains our life. amy: in california, farmers who hold powerful water rights have
avoided mandatory cuts by agreeing to voluntarily limit their water use by 25%. the deal applies only to farmers with direct access to rivers or streams. california has already ordered municipalities to cut water use by up to 36% amid a historic drought. agriculture accounts for 80% of water use. in peru, the government has imposed martial law, suspending civil liberties to quell protests in the southern region of a copper mine project will stop three protesters and one police officer have killed as authorities cracked down on the months-long protests. it is successfully brought the mine project to a halt. farmers and residents say the tia maria mine will pollute their land and water. meanwhile in another part of peru, a protester has been killed amid a week-long strike by workers at a chinese-operated iron mine. the union said luis quispe was shot dead by police. in mexico, authorities are facing questions about what they claim was a shootout between accused cartel members and
federal forces in the state of michoacan. authorities have said 42 criminal suspects and one federal police officer were killed in a firefight as forces sought to reclaim a ranch occupied by the cartel. but some victims' relatives question the account, telling the associated press their loved ones did not belong to a gang and had gone to the ranch for work. relatives said one body was missing an eye, another had its teeth knocked inward, and a third was shot in top of the head. a group of 30 women activists from around the world has crossed the border from north to south korea in a call for peace. the group, which included feminist icon gloria steinem and nobel laureates mairead maguire of northern ireland and leymah gbowee of liberia, crossed the demilitarized zone by bus after south korea opposed their plan to walk across. mairead maguire called for a permanent peace treaty between north and south korea. >> we come here as international women because we do not believe in wars.
and we believe this is the longest war in history today, a cold war between brothers and sisters who have so much in common. amy: in the united states, the third largest cable tv provider charter communications, has reached a deal to buy time warner cable, the number two cable operator, for $55 billion. by acquiring time warner, and another, smaller firm, charter will reportedly quadruple its customer base to 24 million people. the move comes after an earlier bid by comcast to buy time warner failed amid mass opposition. in new york, a protester who threw fake blood at new york city police commissioner bill bratton at a police brutality protest in november will perform 10 hours of community service under a deal with prosecutors. diego ibanez was initially charged with multiple felonies while police commissioner bratton said he hoped he would "be a professional resident of
rikers island [jail]." ibanez told gothamist -- "one of the things i was taught is that it's really important to start making the invisible visible. the nypd does a really good job of convincing the general public, through the mainstream media, that they don't have blood on their hands. this was a way of showing that they do." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron mate. aaron: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the national conversation on policing african-american communities is focused on cleveland today after a major federal settlement and a controversial verdict. the justice department has reached an agreement with cleveland over a pattern of what it calls "unreasonable and unnecessary" force by police. a probe last year found "chaotic -- unlawful abuses across hundreds of cases. the federal settlement could lead to independent oversight and revised policies. this comes just days after an acquittal in a case that helped
launch the probe. on saturday, officer michael brelo was found not guilty of manslaughter for the fatal shootings of two unarmed african-americans in their car. in november 2012, brelo was one of 13 officers who fired 137 rounds at timothy russell and malissa williams after a 22-mile long, high-speed chase. the incident began after officers tried to stop russell for wrong term. more officers were rude warning gunfire from his -- were reporting gunfire from his car. but there were no guns. instead, prosecutors say the car was making noises from backfiring. amy: the chase involved speeds of up to 100 miles per hour and more than 60 police cruisers. even though the rules for chases allow only two. after the other officers had stopped shooting, brelo mounted the foot of the car and fired at these 15 shots at the
windshield. russell was shot 23 times. williams, 24 times. but on saturday, judge john o'donnell said he can't prove belo shot the fatal bullets since 12 other officers also opened fire. o'donnell also said brelo had grounds to fear for his safety. >> by preponderance of the evidence free low-cost decision to use deadly force against russell and williams was based on probable cause that we believe that threatened serious public harm to human other officers not to mention public. i therefore find his initial decision to use force was constitutionally reasonable. aaron: a report from the ohio attorney general called the chase and shooting the result of a "systemic failure in the cleveland police department." more than 60 officers were suspended over their roles. but brelo was the only officer to be criminally charged. the families of timothy russell and malissa williams have voiced anger at brelo's acquittal. this is rene robinson, a cousin of malissa williams, and paul cristallo, attorney for timothy russell's family.
>> that was my cousin. that was my baby cousin. i'm going to tell you something right now. they are killing kids. they're killing women now. they're doing whatever they want to do and nobody is not even doing nothing about it. >> not guilty is not the same as innocent. jumping on the foot of a car and firing on two unarmed people is hard to say is innocent. we respect the decision of the lawn court, found them not guilty, we want it to be known that, obviously, we feel he is culpable and that he is far from innocent as was the city of cleveland in the role in the situation. amy: the not guilty verdict sparked a day of protests in cleveland. hundreds of people rallied outside the cleveland justice center and near the home of the county prosecutor. >> after 4000 cases of
injustice, we just adding another one to it. >> right. >> and make no mistake about it, we are calm, but we are mad as hell. amy: the protests later merged at the park where 12-year old tamir rice was killed by a police officer last november. after a night of protests, cleveland mayor frank jackson said 71 people were arrested. >> the majority of the protesters yes, they were peaceful come although aggressive at the end of the day, were still peaceful. in the evening however, there were some whose -- who crossed the line and as a result, they were arrested and they crossed the line in some cases by assaulting bystanders. amy: the justice department could unveil details of its settlement around cleveland's policing today. the city is also awaiting decisions on whether officers will be charged in the killings
of two other unarmed african-americans -- 12-year old tamir rice, shot dead while playing with a toy gun in a park and tanisha anderson, a mentally ill woman whose death has been ruled a homicide. for more we go to cleveland where we are joined by two guests. alice ragland is an activist with the ohio student association, which has been organizing around the issue of police violence in ohio. and the reverend waltrina middleton is a community organizer and minister with the group cleveland action. close to the families of timothy russell and malissa williams the unarmed pair killed in their vehicle by cleveland police. let's begin with you reverend. if you could start by talking about the family's reaction to the judges acquittal this was a judge and jury, not a jury -- not a jury, but the judge made the decision.
>> thank you. the family was not surprised but certainly disappointed. i think they felt as if officer brelo would have at least been charged on a lesser charge, but have no accountability is obviously grievous for the family. quite disappointing that there is no accountability at all for the behavior of a police officer who like in himself to arnold schwarzenegger or rambo jumping on the foot of a car and shooting down into a car where people were surrendering. autopsy reports show there were bullets in the palm of timothy and malissa's hands. even the judge himself, even as the judge attempted to present brelo as a hero, a knowledge his behavior is a danger to himself and his fellow officers.
and i don't see anything reasonable or rational about his behavior. and the family is quite disappointed that justice failed and that while timothy finally had his day in court, justice failed to bring him justice. aaron: i think for many across the country, the verdict does take us back to the night november 2012. they're driving their vehicle an officer tries to stop them for a wrong turn, they speed away. what happens next? >> what the police has reported a 25 mile pursuit of timothy and malissa. they were accused, falsely, a shooting at the officers -- which was later determined to potentially be a backfire of the car. but even as they fleed the scene, that is not grounds for murder not grounds for
execution. they were executed with over 100 shots sprayed in the vehicle. eventually the car came to a stop at what is called heritage middle school. the police accused the couple of trying to use their vehicle as a weapon. the family obviously, aware of the character of their loved ones, highly disputes that, especially after the autopsy report showed there were bullets in the palm of their hands. and while the judge stated that officer brelo had every right to be afraid for his life because of the calls of the radio system that said they have a gun, they're shooting, he did not point out there were also recordings were there were person saying, it is not a gun it is a soda can in their hand. so i feel as if the judge pretty much presented a case to fill the holes to protect the officer and to ensure that others would not be convicted.
i think this unity or unified front to protect officers, even when they certainly violated their own code of service to protect. the family tells the story of timothy russell being an evangelist who shared his faith with others and who always had a smile on his face and that he would not hurt a fly. and so this portrayal of these two people, in spite of whatever personal challenges they may have that most human beings suffer from, is not fair. and also, the case itself was one-sided. resenting the story of the police officer and mischaracterization criminalizing the victim, simply because of their past -- which had nothing to do with the shooting and execution. amy: alice ragland, you have
been deeply involved with these protest. why is brelo the only one on trial? 137 rounds were shot at the car. he, himself, shot, what was it, 49 shot at malissa in timothy? but why is he alone being charged with their killing? >> that is something that i'm still trying to figure out and something that people in the activist community are still trying to figure out. there's been a lot of confusion around that. the fact there were 13 officers who fired shots and 64 officers were found to have violated their orders, but none of them were suspended for more than 10 days. that is a question that i still have. aaron: part of brelo's defense was that he thought the couple was firing at him because of the gunfire that was actually coming from the officers. a defense expert testified
officers are actually firing and hitting the police vehicles, especially police car 238. brelo believed it was coming from inside the suspects car when in fact the shots were just coming from his fellow officers. >> right. they were coming from his fellow officers. supposedly, i guess that made him fear -- feel like you was fearing for his life. i think that is ridiculous. i think that is an excuse used to find him innocent. amy: i want to turn to the attorney for office brelo, patrick d'angelo praising the not guilty verdict, he said his client had defeated an "oppressive government." >> we stood tête-à-tête with an oppressive government trying to coerce and put away a law-abiding citizen who did his job in this case, even though there were tragic circumstances and outcomes, and we fought the
four of us against all odds and i am so happy that we can walk out this courtroom with our heads held high. amy: reverend waltrina middleton , your response to what brelo's attorney says? there were supervisors charged with minor issues, but the fact that 100 police officers were involved with this, what are you calling for? i mean, there were mass protests over the weekend over 71 people arrested. today, the justice department is expected to announce an agreement with the police of cleveland. what do you expect to come out of it? what do you want to see happen? >> address the idea of an oppressive system. when you have a system that protects abusive officers that had behind a code of blue, that hide behind badges. were a 12-year-old cannot play
in a recreation center without the threat of being murdered. in an open carry state to say oh, he looked like he was 21 or older, it should not matter. it is an open carry state. so the child is not have the freedom to play in his own community without the fear of being murdered. his sister coming to his aid and i'm speaking of tamir rice, and being handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car for trying to revive her brother. let's talk about to misha anderson whose family contacted the police for support because of their sisters mental health condition and she was body slammed and killed in the hands of officers. and the countless disproportionate deaths against black and brown hotties in this nation -- i would question who is oppressed. i want to speak to that. i know the family wants more than just the department of justice report that came out in
december 2014. and so it is encouraging to know the department of justice has come to some type of agreement with the city of cleveland, but i hope it is more than symbolic. i pray it is actually taking those recommendations and putting it in the action so that people can go out without being criminalized come a profile to, and dying. i myself have been racially profiled by the police and stopped just from trying to go from home to work. i pray it is more than symbolic and that it will be fruitful so that people can live without being in fear. aaron: alice ragland, as this settlement is announced today and cleveland awaits charges in the killings of tanisha anderson and tamir rice, what are you planning for next and what do you hope for? >> i hope that all the officers involved with the killings of tanisha anderson and tamir rice are charged in that they serve
time. being charges one thing, we have so many cases were officers are indicted and charged but they don't get found guilty. i hope that a justice system, judge, jury, whoever is involved in these cases, will come to their senses. amy: i want to end with the nation's top civil rights prosecutor. in december, he unveiled the findings of the justice department probe that detail the history of abuse across hundreds of cases characterizing police behavior in cleveland as chaotic and dangerous. >> investigation concluded there is a reasonable cause [indiscernible] pattern and practice of unreasonable force and violation of the fourth amendment. that pattern manifested in a range of ways including the unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force including shootings and had strikes with impact weapons, the unnecessary
excessive or retaliatory use of less lethal force including tasers, chemical sprays of excessive force against persons were mentally ill and in crisis including in cases where officers were called exclusively for welfare check, and the employment of tactics that placed officers where avoidable force became inevitable. supervisors throughout the chain of command endorsed question will sometimes unlawful conduct i officers. officers were not provided with sufficient and adequate training , policy guidance, and supervision to do their jobs safely and effectively. indigo that is vanita gupta. i also want to thank our guests reverend waltrina middleton, and alice ragland, activist with the ohio student association. in the case of 12-year-old tamir rice, they're still have not been any charges brought against the officers involved with his
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. aaron: in a historic victory for marriage equality, ireland has become the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage via popular vote. by a 62 to 38 margin, the people of ireland voted a resounding "yes" for equality in a national referendum on friday. this signals what some are calling a social revolution in the traditionally conservative catholic country. jubilant supporters crowded into the courtyard of dublin castle to watch as results trickled in from across the country. as the final tally was announced, they cheered with joy and sang the national anthem. this is "yes" voter bear north.
>> a different country that includes everybody. homosexuality was only legalized in 1993. we have come a long way. we are proud to stand up to the world. aaron: ireland's constitution will now be amended to say that " two people can marry, "without distinction as to their sex." the turnout for the referendum was one of the highest in country's history and came after a robust civic campaign led by human rights activists, trade unions, celebrities, and employers. it was also endorsed by all of ireland's political parties. on saturday, ireland's prime minister edna kenny praised the outcome. what's with today's vote, we have disclosed who we are generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people. yes to inclusion, yes to generosity yes to love yes equal marriage. amy: ireland's referendum
reflects a sea change in a country where homosexuality was decriminalized just two decades ago and where 70% of the population still identifies as roman catholic. many have suggested a series of clerical pedophile scandals have weakened the church's moral authority on social issues. ireland now joins 18 other nations that have ended marriage exclusion, including britain france and spain as well as south africa, brazil, and canada. now, in western europe, northern ireland remains the last country where same-sex couples are barred from tying the knot. next month, activists will hold a rally in support of marriage equality there. so far, legislative attempts have been vetoed in the northern ireland assembly by the democratic unionist party and a majority of ulster unionists. well, for more, we go now to belfast, northern ireland where we're joined by gavin boyd, the policy and advocacy manager at the rainbow project. gavin boyd, welcome to democracy now! can you take us through how this happened?
>> [indiscernible] the social change that is been happening in ireland over the last 15 to 20 years. i think all credit has to go to the yes campaigners in getting this over the line. it helps there was a real consensus of support for the issue across all the political leaders in the republic will stop i think it also helped the catholic church kept their heads pretty much close to the grind on this issue. i think that stopped it from becoming a very divisive issue. aaron: what do you think accounts for that approach by the church, not taking a divisive "no" stands? >> i think the catholic church has been battered in ireland over the past 20 years because of the abuses that took place for women [indiscernible] child sex scandals that of come out from the church and many people recognized
[indiscernible] i think they read the cards well. i think what really swung this in the end were the conversations people were having an small villages and really rural ireland. this was in a victory for the metropolitan, this was a victory across ireland not just big cities, but tiny little villages as well. amy: if you could explain the novel approach to organizing -- i should say, the extremely comprehensive approach. i want to turn to a campaign video produced by the group "vote with us" that went viral. >> hello. >> we're voting for equal marriage. we hope you'll vote with us. >> where roman catholics and we will be 50 years this year. we hope other couples can opt
opportunity to experience the love, protection, and companionship that we have experienced. >> 20 years ago, i probably would have voted no. but now that i know gay people and see the love and joy they can bring to life, and i will be voting yes. we worked hard for civil rights in northern ireland in the 1960's. now it is time to support civil rights in the south. >> grandparents, and we wish that all our grandchildren are protected and treated as equals in the playground and in the eyes of the law. >> i ask you to take time to consider and reflect on something. it could happen sometime in the future that your son or daughter grandchild or great grandchild will tell you they are gay. and when they ask you how you voted this referendum, whether
you bother to vote at all, what will you tell them? will you tell them you try to make a difference? >> we have the opportunity to change things for the better. i know the ever loving god that we believe in would say, you did the right thing. the christian thing and voting "yes" for marriage equality. >> we ask you to vote with us. amy: in a video produced by the vote with us campaign. if you could explain, gavin, how the grassroots organizing was accomplished both online off-line, house to house, and all the different groups that got involved -- all of the parties supported this, the political parties. >> absolutely. this was a massive campaign undertaken. i think the video shows it was very much an irish solution to this issue.
this was about talking to families, talking apparent in grandparents, and explain why was important for their children, their grandchildren to be a little grow up in society that respected them as equal citizens. i think those conversations that people have, that older family members [indiscernible] once they saw how important it was for their children, for the grandchildren, they understood why they had to go out and vote "yes was going for. online, there was a massive campaign to getting the irish -- those who left and come home to vote specifically on these issues. watching between the pictures and the videos of people coming in by plane and fairy from the united states, from india africa, austria, people came from all around the world to vote in this particular issue. i think that shows why it was such a strong grassroots campaign because this was an issue that has electrified the
youth of ireland, especially young people who have maybe gone to work and other traditionally progressive parts of the world and come home and realize that changes they see in other parts of the world [indiscernible] it was the true essence of a grassroots campaign. this was not fought on tv with attack ads. this was conversations that were happening in pubs in rural ireland and football matches. it was a victory for the populace as opposed to the elite. aaron: you mention people coming in from around the world. what about the ripple effect locally? do you see this influencing other countries across the planet? >> i know this better head of the political side of equal marriage campaign said ireland should now be a leader on lgbt rights around the world.
i think ireland has been traditionally conservative traditionally catholic country. able to make this change the popular vote, i think it is an example to those parts of the world, particularly in latin america and other places maybe in eastern europe, certainly, in australia. i was he this having a massive ripple affect across the world. amy: on friday, pat carey announced he is gay and appealed to older voters to support same-sex marriage. he said he was encouraged to speak publicly after health minister leo varadkar, became the country's first openly gay minister last month. carey congratulated his compatriots for embracing marriage equality, and said ireland has progressed greatly in the last few decades. >> i think it is a brave statement by the irish people that they are voted in great numbers to extend equality to gay and lesbian people, to allow them to get married civilly.
ireland 10 or 20 years ago, was a strange, dark lace where an awful lot of stones were being overturned and lots of nasty insects were being found under them. we do criminalized homosexuality only in 1993. 10 years earlier, it was still ok for a man to rape his wife. in that his former irish government minister pat carey. if you could talk about the politicians that actually came out as they were pushed people to support same-sex marriage. >> the political parties did play a strong role in this. the fact there was a strong consensus among the parties i think really helped solidify that this was an achievable thing and ireland. honestly, the left-wing parties were in fear for it -- obviously, the left-wing parties were in fear for it. the labor parties were in favor
for the change and campaign for the change. i think a significant change happen when more of the mainstream parties got involved. traditional parties and ireland -- in ireland came on board. it showed this was not a left or right issue, not a liberal or conservative issue, but this was an irish issue, about ensuring all citizens of ireland have access to the same civil rights as everyone else. i think particularly interventions were helpful because it is an old-school irish politician, catholic, from a rural crudity on the west coast of ireland. showing someone from a nonmetropolitan background can get behind this issue come i think really helped sway some of those more older, more conservative, more rural voters. aaron: can you talk about pope francis? he had a more inclusive stance that previous pontiffs. can you talk about the position he has taken and how that may
have influences outcome? >> i think pope francis has taken quite a smart response on this. he is an intelligent man. he knows the way the wind is going on this issue. [indiscernible] ireland, although it is been rocked in the catholic church, [indiscernible] i think the church was wise and pope francis was wise and seeking to not overly antagonize members of his flock will stop at think understanding how young people feel about this, and most people go through 12 or 14 years of catholic education in ireland and after that they still support marriage equality. so this was about taking the skill hours children were taught in school. i think pope francis, if his intelligent as i begins, will take, as the arch issue of
dublin says, a reality check and recognize the church needs to strongly consider how it articulate its use on these issues and how we can make itself more relevant to young people in ireland and across the world today. amy: gavin boyd, you're speaking to us from northern ireland in belfast. talk about the position of northern ireland today and what you're doing there. >> northern ireland is in quite a similar situation to some states in the u.s. at the moment. in other parts of the u.k. people can get lawfully married. when they come home to northern ireland, there are no longer recognized as married. they have their marriage reclassified against their will. that is what we consider an ongoing injustice, something we think will be challenged in the court at some point in the future. but at the minute and northern ireland, there isn't a legislative solution to marriage inequality. the democratic unionist party are very strongly against marriage equality. [indiscernible]
there is every likelihood they will continue to use their veto to block its implementation. understanding the waves of supporter for his for marriage equality across ireland now, the project i work for with our partners in amnesty international and the irish congress trade union are organizing a rally and march for marriage equality in belfast on june 13 to make it clear to our politicians that they do not speak for all of us on this issue, that we understand this is an issue of fundamental human rights and frequent treatment under the law that we cannot allow a position where people are lawfully married but when they come home to belfast or where they live, there are no longer considered married anymore. that is a complete and justice which really does need a resolution. amy: thank you, gavin boyd, for joining us policy and advocacy , manager at the rainbow project
, speaking to us from belfast, northern ireland. catholic archbishop martin said anyone who doesn't show loved toward gay and lesbian people is insulting god. they're not just homophobic, he said, there actually god-aphobic because god loves everyone of those people. when we come back, we go to another catholic country, but we goes out to el salvador where this weekend, 300,000 people turned out for the edification of the slain archbishop -- beatification of the slain archbishop romero. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: wolfe tones' version of "a nation once again." this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. aaron: thirty-five years ago archbishop oscar arnulfo romero was murdered by members of a u.s.-backed death squad while delivering mass in san salvador, el salvador. on saturday, hundreds of thousands gathered in the same city to see him beatified.
the recognition has long been opposed by right wing clerics and politicians. during the ceremony, eight deacons carried romero's blood-stained shirt to the altar in a glass case. an envoy of pope francis lead the event in recognition of a man known during the military as a "voice for the voiceless." >> we authorize the venerable servant of god, bishop and martyr, pastor, according to the heart of christ, evangelize her and father to the poor, heroic witness of the reign of god, reign of justice, fraternity and peace, here on shall be called beatified. aaron: president salvador sánchez cerén, a former member of the left-wing rebel movement fmln, spoke at the ceremony. the presidents of panama and ecuador also attended. president obama sent a statement hailing the catholic church's new direction under pope francis, writing -- "i am grateful to pope francis for his leadership in reminding us of our obligation to help
those most in need, and for his deci oscar arnulfo romero." amy: archbishop romero was shot through the heart while delivering mass at a hospital chapel on march 24, 1980. he was reportedly assassinated on the orders of u.s.-backed death squad leader roberto d'aubuisson, a graduate of the u.s.-run school of the americas who went on to form the right wing arena party. this is an excerpt from the film "romero" starring raúl juliá who played archbishop romero. >> i would like to make an appeal in a special way to the men in the army. brothers, each one of you is one of us. we are the same people. the farmers and peasants that you kill are your own brothers and sisters.
when you hear the words of a man telling you to kill, think instead in the words of god. thou shalt not kill. no soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of god. in his name and in the name of our tormented people who have suffered so much and whose laments cry out to heaven, i am for you -- i beg you, i order you -- stop the repression. amy: an excerpt from the film "romero." well for more we go to san
-- and one of the last addresses that archbishop romero would give before being gunned down. well for more we go to san salvador, el salvador where we are joined by roberto lovato. his family is from el salvador and he is a writer and a visiting scholar at uc berkeley's center for latino policy research. he has been reporting on archbishop romero's beatification for the guardian and latino rebels. welcome back to democracy now! talk about what happened this weekend. >> what happened, amy, basically, a really is asian of what romero said himself before he died. he knew they were going to kill him. that was pretty clear from talking to people who knew him. he said, if i am killed, i will rise again in the salvador people. and what happened on saturday was precisely that in a formal way. people here will tell you that romero was a saint for us here
long before the church caught up into the beatification, which was held up high politics that included, for example [indiscernible] administration trying to get romero to shut up in the 1980's and from then on, the u.s. is not played a very positive role here. amy: can you talk about exactly what happened on that day when he was assassinated? give us the politics of what took place, who murdered oscar romero as he was giving his chapel sermon? >> he was giving a chapel sermon here in san salvador behind me. he was doing what he always did ministering to the poor. romero was nothing if not somebody who is also an omega began with god and the poor -- out for an omega began with got in the poor. he was talking in their dollars
-- already been a plan by others. one of the things happened, people lose the story and thinking he only had one killer. there were people in miami and people in different parts of the country who were still around and people here want to bring them to justice, who are applauding his murder. a car drove by in an assassin fired up illustrating to his heart. he was killed and he died not long after. he was tended to by a nun. one of the most touching moments for me here, amy during the ceremony on saturday was to see a nun singing the kind of anthem of the revolutionary left in the song says, unless -- let happiness come and wash away the suffering. there's a part that says, go
salvadoran. this four foot 59 -- four foot five inch nun raises her fist. romero challenge the state to stop repressing people. he went beyond that. i have been reading his homilies and listening to interviews and he actually does his message went far beyond simply stopping thhe called -- he supported the nationalization bank. he talked about -- pretty much, code for the united states. we have someone now who in this country who is arguably the most violent country on earth in terms of homicides am a becoming this massive symbol of peace. it could not have come at a better time for el salvador. aaron: can you talk more about the politics behind his decision, taking so long for this honor to happen and what
this now means for el salvador? >> well, you basically have the tale of two churches. i was on the weekend before the beatification, a was at a church at the cathedral will stop you see the tele two churches playing out. you had a traditional mass that barely even mentioned romero being led by the archbishop, the current archbishop. below in the crypt of it, yet hundreds of people crammed into this room, basically carrying pictures of their martyrs, of romero, celebrating, singing and talking about justice and god. that is kind of the tale of two churches. you have the conservative church hierarchy and the elites, those
that have continued the oligarchy from the 1980's that expanded into the financial sector have joined forces to pressure the vatican to not beatify romero. they sent letters. they did what the u.s. has been doing while romero was alive. fortunately, that did not work. as my friend carlos, prominent journalist who wrote a piece for "the new yorker," he said, this is a moral victory for el salvador. it means -- it is a moral victory. it is a validation that -- they read the names of the martyrs that have died, church people, nonchurch people. 80,000 dead, 95% of whom were killed by the u.s.-backed government according to the united nations trade commission. amy: roberto lovato we have to
leave it there, but we want to thank you for being with us writer and a visiting scholar at , uc berkeley's center for latino policy research. we'll link to his reports from san salvador in the guardian and latino rebels at our website. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to