tv Democracy Now LINKTV July 10, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT
07/10/15 07/10/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> 22 days ago i did not know i would never be able to say this again. but today, i am very proud to say that it is a great day in south carolina. amy: south carolina governor nicky haley signs a bill to permanently remove the confederate battle flag from the state capitol three weeks after a white supremacist killed nine african-american parishioners in charleston. we will speak to the interracial
granddaughter of the late strom thurmond, the long-term south carolina segregationist, governor, and senator who ran for president in 1948 opposing civil rights. >> it simply means just another effort on the part of this [indiscernible] to dominate this country by force and to put into effect these uncalled for in these them noble proposals recommended under the guise of so-called civil rights. amy: after his death in 2003, it was revealed strom thurmond had secretly had a child with his black maid. their granddaughter will join us today from the capital of south carolina. then to new york were governor andrew cuomo has announced plans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians.
>> this situation we are addressing is a crisis, a crisis in the state and a crisis nationwide. it is a crisis of confidence in the criminal justice system. amy: we will speak to gwen carr, the mother of eric garner who died a year ago in staten island after being placed in a police chokehold. and we will get the latest on greece. just days after greek voters overwhelmingly turned down the terms of an international bailout in a historic rejection of austerity, the greek government has proposed a new deal that would accept new austerity measures in exchange for debt relief. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the confederate battle flag that has flown on the south carolina statehouse grounds for more than 50 years comes down today.
governor nicky haley signed a bill thursday to permanently remove the flag, after the house and senate overwhelmingly approved it earlier this week. the flag is scheduled to come down at 10:00 a.m. today, just over three weeks after the massacre of nine african-american churchgoers by suspect dylann roof, who embraced the confederate flag. we'll have more on south carolina with the granddaughter of the late south carolina senator and segregationist strom thurmond after headlines. as south carolina lawmakers vote to take down the confederate battle flag, republicans in the u.s. congress blocked a measure to remove any flag with confederate symbols from national cemeteries. they were true the best-selling protest by democrats. >> the members of the republican conference to support the confederate battle flag apparently argue that this is
about heritage and tradition. what exactly is the tradition the confederate battle flag is meant to represent? is it slavery? rape? kidnap? genocide? treason? or all of the above? amy: about two hours from the state capital in the debate over the confederate flag, the mother of walter scott visited the site of her sons death for the first time. walter scott was an unarmed african-american man shot dead in april by white police officer michael slager who is charged with murder after video showed he shot scott in the back as he ran away. walter scott's brother, anthony spoke during the family's visit to the fenced in field where his brother died. >> it is hard trying to face
what my mom and dad because i for the longest, have try to keep them away. but i know they have to bring some -- some closure has to come. with that getting closer to that time, we have to come face it and look it head on. amy: the officer accused of killing walter scott, michael slager, is in the same charleston jail where dyklaylann roof is being held. greek prime minister alexis tsipras has submitted a bailout proposal which includes harsh austerity measures just days after the greek people overwhelmingly rejected such measures in a historic referendum. the proposal submitted to greece's creditors reportedly includes tax increases, pension cuts, a reduction in military spending, and the privatization of public assets. it comes after tsipras himself had urged the greek people to reject creditors' demands for further austerity. in exchange for the reforms, greece would receive a three-year, $59 billion bailout package.
germany, meanwhile, appears to be yielding to demands to provide at least some measure of debt relief to greece. european officials have expressed approval for the greek offer ahead of a key meeting of -- on the greek parliament is saturday. expected to vote on the bailout proposal today, just five days after an overwhelming 61% of greek voters rejected similar terms. we'll have more on greece later in the broadcast. the united nations has announced a humanitarian truce in yemen to allow aid to reach civilians facing a possible famine. the truce calls for a pause in saudi-led airstrikes and clashes with shiite houthi rebels beginning today and lasting until the end of ramadan on july 17. iran and world powers are continuing talks to reach a nuclear deal in vienna. the failure to reach an agreement before today means the u.s. congress will not take rather than 30 days to approve 60, any deal, keeping u.s.
sanctions in place in the meantime. secretary of state john kerry said he would not continue to negotiate indefinitely. >> we also recognize that we should not get up and leave simply because the clock strikes midnight. and i emphasize given that the work here is incredibly technical and the stakes are very, very high, we will not rush and we will not be rushed and we won't let ourselves be rushed through any aspect of this. amy: the obama administration has acknowledged a breach of government computer systems was far worse than they initially disclosed. packer still information including finger printed social security numbers from 21.5 million people. the office of personnel management said everyone who received a government background check over the last 15 years was likely impacted. the u.s. army has announced plans to eliminate 40,000 soldiers from its ranks. the cuts will see the army's
total size. army force management director randy george announced the cuts. >> driven by physical constraints resulting from the budget control act of 2011 and defense strategic and budgetary guidance, this reduction amounts to a cumulative cut of 120,000 soldiers from the regular army or 21% since 2012. this will also be accompanied by the reduction of approximately 17,000 department of the army civilian employees. these cuts will impact nearly every army installation both in the communal united states and overseas. amy: the reduction in u.s. troops has drawn criticism from republican lawmakers who voted in favor of budget cuts the pentagon warned would force the cuts would reduce its ranks. the obama administration is reportedly poised to remove malaysia from its list of the worst human trafficking hubs in a move that could ease negotiations over the trans-pacific partnership trade deal.
last year, the united states downgraded malaysia to a tier 3 rating, but a measure by new jersey senator bob menendez bars the united states from enacting trade deals with tier 3 countries. despite protests from human rights groups reuters reported , the state department will upgrade malaysia's status allowing it to remain part of the tpp. wisconsin republican governor scott walker is poised to sign a bill banning non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no exception for rape or incest. as walker prepares to launch his presidential campaign monday, he is also expected to sign a state budget which slashes funding for the university of wisconsin, expands the voucher program for private schools, requires drug testing for welfare recipients and eliminate the state's living , wage law. a super-pac backing republican presidential contender jeb bush says it has raised a record $103 million in the first half of this year. in total, the super-pac and bush's campaign have raised more than $114 million this year, far outstripping both democratic and
republican rivals. the news comes as bush is facing criticism for telling the new hampshire nina and leader newspaper americans need to work longer hours. >> workforce participation has to rise from its all-time honor lows. it means people need to work on your hours and through their productivity, gain more income for their families. amy: americans already work more hours than people in any other industrialized country. and despite a 25% rise in worker productivity over recent years wages have flatlined. immigrants who were held at a private prison run by the geo group in aurora, colorado have filed a landmark federal lawsuit, saying the company violated anti-trafficking law by forcing them to work for $1 a day under the threat of solitary confinement. this week, u.s. district judge john kane allowed the lawsuit to move forward. the immigrants say they spent hours cleaning toilets, mopping and preparing meals. attorneys say the lawsuit is the first of its kind.
a federal judge has scolded the obama administration for stalling its release of footage showing force-feedings of guantanamo prisoners. attorneys for former prisoner abu wa'el dhiab have fought for the tapes to be made public, saying he was force-fed over 1000 times in retaliation for going on hunger strike. district judge gladys kessler ordered the videos' release back in october, but the government has said it needs months to redact faces and names of u.s. personnnel. on thursday, judge kessler accused the government of mounting frivolous challenges and warned she would soon impose a timeline for the tapes' release. pope francis denounced austerity and unbridled capitalism in a sweeping address in bolivia. pope francis denounced the "new colonialism" of government austerity, francis apologized for the catholic church's complicity in the oppression of indigenous people in latin america. >> i say this to you with regret, many grave sins were
committed against the native peoples of america in the name of god. my predecessors acknowledged this, and i, too, wish to say it. like saint john paul ii, i ask the church nibble for god and import for forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sense and daughters. i would also say, i wish to be quite clear, as with st. john paul ii, i humbly ask for forgiveness done only for the offenses of the church herself the crimes committed against the native peoples dream the so-called conquest of america. amy: bolivian president evo morales presented pope francis with a crucifix carved into a hammer and sickle. the cross was originally designed by jesuit activist reverend luis espinal, who was assassinated by suspected bolivian paramilitaries in 1980. francis stopped to pray at the site where espinal's body was dumped when he arrived in bolivia on wednesday. today marks the 30th anniversary of the bombing of the greenpeace flagship rainbow warrior by
french agents in auckland, new zealand. greenpeace photographer fernando pereira was killed in the attack. france has never apologized. to see our interview with peter wilcox, who was the captain of the rainbow royer and was there at the time you can go to , democracynow.org. a federal monitor who is overseeing the new york city police department says officers have been failing to document encounters with people they stop and question on the street. the monitor was appointed following a court order after the nypd's stop-and-frisk tactics were found unconstitutional. the report calls into question a drop in the official tally of stops. we'll have more on the nypd and new york governor andrew cuomo's landmark plans for a special prosecutor to probe police killings of unarmed civilians, later in the broadcast. and bonard fowler, the white former alabama state trooper who shot and killed black civil rights worker jimmy lee jackson in 1965, an event which helped -- has died at the age of 81. fowler shot jackson in mack's cafe in marion, alabama.
it was february 18, 1965. jackson died eight days later. the killing was a seminal moment which set off the first selma to montgomery voting rights march known as bloody sunday. dr. martin luther king preached at jackson's funeral. but it wasn't until 45 years later in 2010, that fowler pleaded guilty to jackson's killing, apologized and served five months in jail. fowler died on sunday. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the confederate battle flag that has flown on the south carolina statehouse grounds for more than 50 years comes down today. governor nikki haley signed a bill thursday to permanently remove the flag after the house and senate overwhelmingly approved it earlier this week. >> and what we saw in that swift
action by both the house and senate was we saw members start to see what it was like to be in each other's shoes start to see what it felt like. we heard about the true honor of heritage and tradition. we heard about the true pain that many have felt. and we took the time to understand it. i saw passions get high, i saw passions get low, but i saw commitment never-ending. and so what we saw was another action, and that action is that the confederate flag is coming off the grounds of the south carolina statehouse. juan: this is final push in a decades long struggle that began after the confederate flag was placed on south carolina's capitol dome in 1962, and was later relocated to a 30-foot flag pole at the civil war
monument after a compromise that required a two-thirds vote in both the south carolina house and senate to take it down. as governor haley signed the bill in the state house rotunda thursday, she was joined by relatives of the nine people gunned down june 17 at emanuel ame church in charleston as they attended bible study, along with three former south carolina governors and the reverend jesse jackson. the flag is set to be taken down at 10:00 a.m. this morning and will be moved to the state's military museum in columbia, where it will be on display in the confederate relic room. amy: well, as south carolina found resolution thursday, debate over the flag broke out on capitol hill. first, and washington, d.c. house republican leaders abruptly canceled a vote on a republican-proposed amendment to the interior department spending bill that would allow the confederate battle flag to be flown in cemeteries operated by the national park service. in another dramatic move democratic leader nancy pelosi proposed a measure to remove any
flag from the u.s. capitol that includes a confederate symbol. when house republicans tried to remove the resolution from the floor and send it to a republican-controlled committee, democrats shouted in protest. first, republicans yelled "aye," then democrats yelled "no." when the aye's won, democrats challenged republicans to vote on the bill. the shouting began after the house clerk read the motion to exile the measure. >> the question is on ordering the previous question. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the previous question is ordered. mr. speaker -- mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. mr. speaker --
quick telephone you. >> i ask for a recorded vote. amy: when the mayhem died down democrats held a press conference about the debate on the house floor. this is representative hakeem jeffries of new york. >> the members of the republican conference who support the confederate battle flag apparently argue that this is about heritage and tradition. what exactly is your tradition the confederate battle flag is meant to represent? is it slavery? rape? kidnap? genocide? treason? or all of the above? the confederate battle flag is a divisive symbol of racial hatred and oppression. it stood for the defense of the institution of slavery.
and in all of its forms, it is time to banish it to the dustbin of history, which is where it belongs. amy: for more on this historic day when the confederate battle flag is set to come down from the south carolina capitol we go , now to columbia where we are joined by one of those present thursday at governor haley's bill signing. wanda williams-bailey is the interracial granddaughter of the late south carolina senator, former governor, and longtime segregationist strom thurmond. in 1948, he ran for president as a dixiecrat opposing civil rights. >> [indiscernible] effort on part of this president to dominate the country by force and to put into effect these uncalled for and these damnable proposals he is recommended
under the guise of so-called civil rights, and i will tell you the american people from one side of the other had better wake up and oppose such a program. the next thing will be a totalitarian state in these united states. juan: strom thurmond died at the age of 100 and 2003. a few months later, woman named essie mae washington williams publicly revealed she was the daughter of thurmond and carrie butler, who was a 16-year-old housekeeper in thurmond's home. thurmond never publically acknowledged washington-williams as his daughter. essie mae washington williams passed away in 2013. strom thurmond's granddaughter, wanda williams bailey, joins us from columbia, south carolina. welcome to democracy now! >> thank you, thank you for having me. juan: your reaction to what transpired yesterday in your
state? >> yes, you know, this is a defining moment for south carolina. and it is an end of anera in a joyous occasion. i am excited to be a part of history. it is almost you are emotional -- when i was there for the signing yesterday everyone was emotional. it is an experience unless you are there to really understand that process and with the stroke of a pen, governor nikki haley made a difference. the deal was signed. amy: did you ever think this day would come? >> i actually did not. i thought about this many, many times. i relocated here from california . and in doing so, part of my coming here was for research and
just to be here for the moment. i had no intentions of remaining here because what disturbed me most was the atmosphere, the confederate flag, and not only is it hanging on a pole on the state house grounds, i have seen the confederate flag flown throughout south carolina -- all over. so i never felt totally comfortable, coming from an era of the civil rights movement. my father, who happened to have been a civil rights attorney when we reside in savannah, georgia, i understood that time, that process where i could not even drink from the same water fountain. so i had that exposure. and i can tell you, this is a moment. for those who fought in the civil rights movement, this is a victory. i am glad that the senate and
the house decided to arrive on a common ground to do what was good. dealey thing that they should do. and that was to come together to make a difference and to get that vote. again, i am excited relieved, but yet we have a lot of work to do. we still have a lot of things to do here in south carolina. this is only the beginning. but it is a defining moment. and i think in south carolina, people can look at this state in terms of being a more welcome state him a opportunities can emerge. so i am glad, which is something of never said before, but i am glad to be a south carolinians as of today. juan: you mention your father was a civil rights leader. this is your uncle and senator strom thurmond's son, south carolina state senator paul thurmond, calling for the confederate flag to come down.
>> i think the time is right in the ground is fertile for us to make progress as a state and to come together and remove the confederate battle flag from prominent statue outside the state house and put it in the museum. it is time to acknowledge our past atone for our sins and work toward a better future. that future must be built on symbols of peace, love and unity. that future cannot be built on symbols of war, hate, and divisiveness. juan: that was republican south carolina state senator paul thurmond. could you talk about your journey in terms of understanding the family relationships you had to former senator, u.s. senator strom thurmond? >> well, with paul, which am
just excited about what he was able to do. he stepped forward, which was the right thing to do. he wanted to be on the right side. -- on the right side of all that needed to happen. he elected to do that, and i'm grateful that he did. like you described, the iconic some bowls best -- symbol that still remains on the state house grounds as of today, which will be removed, is one of psychological oppression that has affected african-americans for decades. so it is something that he is had pushed and has encouraged others who are like paul, in a dilemma, that made a decision that it was the right thing to do. it is time. and in doing so, to make a difference, that is the purpose of why they came together. he did what he felt was right to do. amy: how do you feel that your
grandfather strom thurmond, the famous segregationist who ran on that platform are president in 1948, was governor, was u.s. senator, woodfield today? and does that matter to you? >> actually, i would not say it doesn't matter. but that was his platform at the time and i think in part it was that era, and he appealed to his voting base. so he chose to take that route. but this is a new day. and his son stepped up to help define that moment, which i am in total support of. that was history. that is the past. we look to the future. amy: was it a big decision for your mother to come forward soon after strom thurmond died to say she was the daughter, in 2003,
your mother essie mae washington williams revealed senator strom thurmond was her father during an interview with "60 minutes" and rather who asked her why she had kept secret are kept quiet for so long. this is what your mom said. >> it wasn't my advantage to talk about anything he had done. it certainly -- a wasn't revenge for either one of us. he did not want it to be known. neither did i. i did not want to be known either. we did not have any agreement about not talking about it, we just did not talk about it, either one of us. i was a for 50 or 60 years now, this thing has been following me . so the fact i am coming out now to talk about it is like a burden lifted because i had this secret.
and even though many people did know about it, i had not got it off my shoulders. this is what i wanted to do. amy: that was essie mae washington williams. our guest, wanda williams-bailey 's mother. how difficult was that for your mother to come forward, wanda? >> it was very difficult. i spent a great deal of time with her prior to her coming out. actually, i elaborate in my manuscript i just completed that i spent years -- this was years in the making -- to encourage her to come forward. so it was a battle back-and-forth to accomplish that goal. and i had to respect her opinion, and i did not want to coerce her into doing it. it was a decision she had to make. but i thought it was a part of what needed to be told, her story. and ultimately, she had to make
the final decision. and in doing so, after strom thurmond passed away, she felt, she said to me one evening, it is time. at that point, she encouraged me to go ahead and make the arrangements to do what was necessary so that she could make a public announcement. and i am proud for her that she decided to do that because she is a part of history. she rewrote history. so the fact that she came forward was a moment for all of us because it allowed not only her, but her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren to say, this is our heritage and our legacy as well. amy: will you be on the grounds of the state capitol today at 10:00 a.m. when the confederate battle flag is taken down for the final time? >> absolutely. i will be there. as they say, i will be there
with bells on. i'm excited. i can't wait. i'm restless. i haven't been able to sleep. again, this is a very special moment in honor of those -- the charleston massacre and those nine victims. this is a victory for the families. and my continued prayers go out to them, that i hope they find some sense of peace in this first phase of what needs to happen with south carolina. we need to change. this is the first step. yet as i said earlier, we have many more areas with which we need to accomplish. amy: wanda williams-bailey granddaughter of the late south carolina senator segregationist, governor strom thurmond, thank you for being here. she was there thursday when nikki haley signed the bill authorizing the removal of the confederate battle flag from the capitol grounds.
this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we're going to look at new york governor andrew cuomo and the historic announcement he made this week calling for special prosecutor when police kill unarmed civilians. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to a major development here in new york in the push for police accountability. governor andrew cuomo has announced plans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians. on wednesday, cuomo appointed new york attorney general eric schneiderman under a one-year executive order. >> an executive order that appoints the attorney general as a special prosecutor for any case where a conflict may be
perceived so the attorney general will be a standing prosecutor to handle any case where a law enforcement officer kills an unarmed civilian or kills a civilian and there is a question as to whether or not the civilian is armed and dangerous. juan: governor cuomo's action will make new york the first state to institute an independent prosecutor for police killings, a step recommended by president's obama's task force on policing but it falls short of the demands of some activist groups. the justice committee had called for the executive order to cover all police killings and not be limited to just one year. cuomo's move came the same day mothers of new yorkers killed by police rallied outside his new york city office demanding he fulfill his promise to appoint the special prosecutor if state lawmakers did not take action.
amy: well, for more we are joined by one of those mothers. gwen carr is the mother of eric garner, who died almost exactly one year ago on july 17 after police pulled him to the ground in a chokehold and piled on top of him while he said, "i can't breathe," 11 times. a grand jury declined to indict officer daniel pantaleo, who put garner in the chokehold. the prosecutor in the case daniel donovan, was recently elected to congress. garner's death was caught on video by ramsey orta, who has been arrested repeatedly since garner's death. ramsey orta alleges police harassment. mrs. carr was there wednesday when governor cuomo signed his executive order appointing special prosecutor to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians. she is a member of the justice committee, which pushed for the measure. we are also joined by vincent warren, executive director of the center for constitutional rights. welcome both of you to democracy now!
gwen carr, you were there when governor cuomo made this announcement. are you satisfied now? >> well, pretty much i am. governor cuomo signing the executive order will and inherent fundamental, you know, areas that exist with the local das now that when a person, civilian is killed by police, there seems to be a problem. so now we will have an independent person to review these killings, which we hope that there will be no more of. juan: and the issue of it being just for one year? obvious lee, the governor had some limitations and that the state legislature would not pass any kind of legislation, but are you worried that is such a short
time that even investigating one k sometimes can take longer than one year. >> the language and the executive order doesn't read like that anymore. there is no language in there that says only for one year. it would have to be renewed after a year, which will be discussed with the governor. and the scope was broadened for the attorney general's office to investigate and prosecute more cases. that was brought up once we discussed it with the governor. amy: you met with governor cuomo and spoke with them. what did you tell him? >> well, the families told him that we wanted him to commit to signing an executive order for special prosecutor, and he
promised the families when we met in april in albany that if his independent monitor that he was presenting wasn't passed that he would sign an executive order. and at that time, we tried to make it perfectly clear that we did want it for all cases, and we did not want a one-year limitation ok? so now after his independent monitor wasn't passed, we went back to him and we asked him to sign the executive order which you know, he had everything prepared. it was read to us. we had some concerns, which we addressed -- he addressed. and we asked him to change certain things.
and he did. when we went back, it was close to what we had asked for. juan: vince warren, why has it been historically difficult for local prosecutors to move on these cases of police killings? >> it has -- it is very difficult for a range of reasons. one of the most important things is that there is an inherent conflict of interest between prosecutors and police officers. they work together all the time. they investigate cases together, prosecute cases together, police collect evidence. all of a sudden if you have a scenario where a police officer is accused of killing a civilian, the same prosecutors that work with them day in and day out now are charged with trying to investigate those cases. on the local level, politically, personally, that doesn't always work will stop we end up with this crazy scenario where a civilian kills a police officer, you know that civilian be prosecuted. if a police officer kills
unarmed civilian, most of us don't have the confidence that will be a fair investigation and prosecution. this is a great step in the right direction because it inserts the attorney general -- we have a great attorney general -- into that mix, so it takes it out of the hands of the prosecutor to decide whether it will be a political play or they will go with the law. juan: my apologies, i called you michael warned. trucks i have been called worse. amy: what was your relationship with the prosecutor who ended up becoming commerce member who failed to indict daniel pantalego, the officer who put your son in a chokehold? >> what was my relationship? amy: did you ever speak to him? >> we spoke to him once before he formed a grand jury, before anything happened. and just speaking with him, he did not sound too positive to us. and even before the grand jury
was formed, we were trying to get the federal government to take the case because we felt more confident in the federal government than we felt in the da taking on the case. juan: and your reaction to this constant arrest of ramsey orta by the police, time after time, since the death of your son? >> yes. now, he has gotten in conflict with the police. i'm not aware of the circumstances exactly but one thing is nothing to do with the other. he did take the video. he took a stand, which other people didn't. and for that, he is my hero. he is the one that conveyed what happened in my son's case. and the da still failed to indict. and that is what i don't understand. they had a clear video showing exactly what happened, and the
other thing they had was two medical examiner's reports. one of the medical examiner's was a police forensic expert and they both rolled my son's death a homicide. so -- i always understood and indictment was probable cause. was that not probable cause? >>juan: vince, i would ask you about the latest report from the monitor following new york city police following the stop and frisk settlement that police are now does are not documenting the stop and frisk vote there may be an undercount of what is going on? >> the center for constitutional rights has a stop in frisk case going on for a number of years and we're in the reform process of the case now. the federal monitor came out with a report in one of the indications in the report based upon how what the evidence looks
like is that the police are still not doing as good a job as they could in terms of collecting all of the information, so that we would be able to keep the police officers accountable. we are a situation now when even you think about the new executive order and you think about the work happening in this litigation were now there are a number of places in which we can conclude lycée that there is outside oversight and outside enforcement to hold the police officers a cannibal so we don't have killings of other children like mrs. carr son and african americans and latinos can walk around freely without being in fear. amy: as we show the video of your son one more time eric garner being taken down last year, the video that rims or to took and now has been arrested repeatedly, his wife was arrested, his mother was arrested as well, do you think the outcome would have been different if what governor has
-- governor cuomo has put in place now was in place been? >> i think the outcome definitely -- teeming with what happened with my son? inigo whether the officer or officers would have been indicted? >> they still weren't indicted you understand. in many of our cases, many of the families cases, there were plenty of evidence to show that there should have been in indictment and even a conviction with these police officers, but there wasn't. that is why we said there is a definite problem with the local das and no matter what they say, the records prove -- some da's will say, oh, i had 100 indictment. how many convictions did they have? none. so there is a problem. everybody is not always right on either side. and everybody is not always wrong. amy: vince warren, is there any
possibility in the case of eric garner at any level, federal or state, after being some kind of indictment? >> the important to remember about this executive order is that it is forward-looking from the date it is signed. unfortunately, situations like eric garner's case would not be included and it would be a forward-looking -- which is why the one year, we need to be focused on in forcing and what happens in getting the congress and legislature to come up with legislation that mirrors this. but the eric garner case there are a range of things that are happening. there is a civil lawsuit happening. although it is not a perfect remedy and will not result necessarily with the police officers going to jail it does bring out all of the evidence that will not have come out publicly because of a lack of trial into the public arena, and it is a measure of holding the police department accountable.
i still hold out hope and expectations that federal and state law enforcement, as information comes out, will act on it. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, gwen carr our condolences on this first anniversary of your son's death. eric garner was killed july 2014 when he was put into a chokehold and piled on by number of police officers saying "i can't , breathe," 11 times. and thanks, vince warren, for joining us, the executive director of the center for constitutional rights. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we will talk about the latest of elements in greece and puerto rico and what is the relationship of governor andrew cuomo in new york to what is happening in puerto rico today? stay with us.
bailout proposal which includes harsh austerity measures just days after the greek people overwhelmingly rejected such measures in a historic referendum. the proposal submitted to greece's creditors reportedly includes tax increases, pension cuts, a reduction in military spending, and the privatization of public assets. it comes after tsipras himself had urged the greek people to reject creditors' demands for further austerity. in exchange for the reforms, greece would receive a three-year, $59 billion bailout package. germany, meanwhile, appears to be yielding to demands to provide at least some measure of debt relief to greece. european officials have expressed approval for the greek offer ahead of a key meeting of european finance ministers on saturday. the greek parliament is expected to vote on the bailout proposal today, just five days after an overwhelming 61% of greek voters rejected similar terms.
amy: in greece, criticizing the proposal for an austerity measures. >> we demand the government open the banks now and give us our pensions. this is money we have already paid in. it is a lifetime's work and we want to be able to buy medicine and food for our families and get our lives back. amy: joining us to discuss the outlook for greece and the new proposal under consideration is mark weisbrot, an economist and the co-director of the center for economic and policy research. he is the author of forthcoming book, "failed: what the experts got wrong about the global economy." mark weisbrot, are you surprised by this deal that is being crafted right now? what exactly has the greek prime minister put forward? >> well, the proposal is similar to what they had rejected previously. you have to take into account
this is kind of a hostage situation. they have had a number of deadlines before and threats with the prime minister called blackmail, but a week before last sunday's referendum, they really started bombing. it wasn't threats anymore. i think that is why the former finance minister yanis here focus called it terrorism. they close down the banking system as you know, and with all of the consequences of that entails. that is important because a lot of people don't know that. they think the government closed down the banking system, but it really was the european central bank doing something that probably of central bank is ever done before, which is to create a financial crisis in a country that is under their jurisdiction, so i think that was the pressure.
we don't really know what the deal looks like yet because we don't have the debt relief but the government is expecting. i would expect they won't get debt relief -- will get debt relief. if they don't, i don't see how it would pass the parliament. juan:k, a lot of the accounts today --mark weisbrot, a lot of the accounts today talk about greece capitulating and basically giving in. but this issue of debt relief, could you clarify what that means? as greece has been saying, it is not sustainable for the government to be able to put a country to pay back this debt, so they want the creditors to accept a certain loss in their principal on this debt to make it possible for greece to repay -- at least some of it. >> it would necessarily be a loss in principle, which is
usually called a haircut. it could be a restructuring so that interest payments are postponed into the future. and i think the most important thing is whether the economy is allowed to recover soon. they have had six years of depression, which was really deepened and prolonged by the european union or the european authorities policies, especially the central bank, which, as i said, now has really closed down the banking system. they need to be able to recover. and that is not clear from this agreement yet whether they will be a will to do that. this agreement or the proposal from the greek government, which is matching the proposal from the european authorities on this issue, calls for a primary budget surplus of 1% this year than 2%, 3%, 3.5%.
unless they get serious debt relief, it is hard to see how they could recover with that kind of fiscal tightening. it certainly not a recovery that would bring down the massive unemployment in the near future. so this really isn't over yet. i don't think it is over at all. amy: the greek prime minister alexis tsipras addressed the european parliament wednesday, saying greeks are tired of being a laboratory for testing austerity. >> we want a sustainable program. we want to be in a position to repay the loans we have accepted. when we ask to reduce the debt we are asking for that because we want to be able to pay this back. we don't want to be forced time and time again to accept new loans to pay off the old ones. amy: that is the greek prime minister. mark weisbrot, does the deal that he is putting forward now perhaps explain why yana's
varoufakis, what he wanted them out and varoufakis complied, the finance minister who just quit? >> well, i don't know -- i don't know why the finance minister quit obviously, the european -- the other finance ministers european authorities, wanted him out and they said it was his negotiating style and things like that. i don't know that that makes much difference. the main thing, again, is whether they can get a deal that allows for an economic recovery. you know, this is the ironic -- the thing about it is, the european authorities have made this mass. the reason they need all of this debt relief is because the economy has shrunk by more than 25% and greatly reduced their ability to pay. and now the imf is already saying or the imf has already
acknowledged the debt is unsustainable. and some of that is u.s. influence. yet the difference between the u.s. and the european union -- you have the difference between the u.s. and the european or the authorities, the u.s. is only concerned with keeping greece in the euro whereas the others have this project. they want to transform europe into a place that has a smaller social safety net, a reduced state, cuts in pensions and health care. this isn't just greece. greece is the obstacle in their way of transforming europe. so they have these whole set of other interest that they're fighting for, and that is why they're being so brutal and stubborn about this. so again, we don't really know what is going to happen yet. we don't know whether they are going to grant sufficient debt relief to allow for an economic recovery. so i think this fight is going to go on for a while.
juan: i want to ask about the parallels between what is happening in greece and potentially of america's own greece, the debt crisis in puerto rico and the role of hedge funds. i have a column in today's "daily news" talking about a big fundraiser that is being held by hedge fund billionaires this weekend at an east hampton mansion for governor cuomo. and many -- there is a new report that is being released today by the group hedge fund first that really lays out what are the role of hedge funds in the puerto rico debt crisis. that report names a bunch of hedge funds, blue mountain capital, stolen capital, the billionaire john paulson and others, all of whom are huge donors to governor cuomo who are also heavily invested in puerto rico debt. fortune magazine estimates up to
50% of the $73 billion in puerto rico debt is being held by these hedge funds that bought up the debt at discount prices, hoping to press austerity and puerto rico forced the raising of taxes, then they can make a killing. puerto rico posse government on july 1 raised the sales tax from 7% to 11.5% last week on the puerto rican people, and dust but many of these hedge funds have been invested in argentina, invested in greece will stop the role of hedge funds and some of these financial debt ics -- crises? >> there's no question of played a huge role in argentina. it was them who got the court decision that actually prevented argentina from paying the interest payments on its debt to all the creditors, over 90% of the creditors, who accepted a restructuring. i think the main role, the main
negative role the hedge fund, vulture funds as their accurately called, is the main role they play is to make it more difficult to havrestructuring when there is one. so that is a very serious problem. and it has caused enormous problems for argentina. in greece right now, the main problem is still the european authorities. they are the ones -- they are not really fighting over the money in greece, it is really about forcing greece to make these changes and also they are worried about what is going to happen in the rest of europe. for instance if greece were to win this battle, you would be much more likely to see the left party that did not even exist about a year and a half ago, now leading in the polls, they could win the election in november. that is another thing they're
looking at. this really is a political project. and it really is driven more by this politics than the actual payments on the debt, which they could have settled in greece a long time ago for a lot less than what they're going to lose going forward. amy: we believe it there on greece and juan on puerto rico the piece you did. there will be protests outside? juan: there are supposed to be yes. amy: we will link to that piece as well. mark weisbrot, thank you for joining us economist and the , co-director of the center for economic and policy research. author of forthcoming book "failed: what the experts got wrong about the global economy." that does it for our show. 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 democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]