tv Democracy Now PBS September 5, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! able to act more swiftly. down itsnato stood high readiness force. i hope today, we can agree, a multinational spearhead force deployable anywhere in the world in just two to five days. >> as ukraine and pro-russian rebels hold talks on a cease-fire, nato announces the creation of a new force doing a major summit in wales. we'll speak to professor stephen cohen. then grossly negligent and reckless. that is how federal judge described bp's conduct the gulf
oil spill four years ago. the ruling could force bp to pay nearly $18 billion in fines. we will speak with antonia juhasz. are rested as fast food workers go on strike across the country. you are buying jet and going everything when i have to get a bus pass for the next week? we need more money and we need it now. what do a one? >> fair pay. >> when we want it? >> now. >> we will speak with wendy's worker in pittsburgh, ashona osborne. later, mary kay henry, president of seiu. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
i'm amy goodman. more than 400 fast food workers and their supporters have been arrested in a national day of action for $15 and our minimum wage. workers staged a one-day strike of 150 cities across the united states thursday in las vegas to chicago and detroit to little rock, arkansas and here in new york city. >> we are gaining awareness and showing people in albany we deserve to be in a union and we are angry about minimum wage. we don't believe in minimum wage, we believe in a living wage. >> we're demanding -- we're not asking for so much. we're just asking for enough to live and survive in new york. >> those arrested engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience by blocking streets during rush hour. in addition to a living wage, workers are also seeking the right to unionize and improve workplace conditions, including
assistant working hours. more on the fast food workers strike later in the broadcast. a federal judge has ruled the oil giant bp was grossly negligent in the lead up to the 2010 deepwater horizon oil spill in the gulf of mexico, the worst in u.s. history. the really could force bp to pay up to $18 billion in extra additional fines. attorney general eric holder praised the ruling in washington. >> we are pleased the district court in new orleans has found the largest oil spill in the united states history was caused by bp's gross negligence and willful misconduct. the court's findings will enter the company is held fully accountable for its recklessness. >> the ruling also found bp's subcontractors negligent in the eye action. bp will immediately appeal. more later in the broadcast. the justice department has
formally announced a civil rights probe of the police department in ferguson, missouri, where the unarmed african-american teenager michael brown was killed last month. the announcement follows weeks of protests sparked by brown's death that brought to light allegations of racial profiling and other police abuses against african-american residents. on thursday, attorney general eric holder said his recent visit to ferguson helped inform the investigations scope. >> i heard from the directly about the deepest trust that has taken on between. -- deep mistrust between law enforcement and the community. insistently expressed concerns stemming from specific alleged incidents from general policing practices and from the lack of diversity on the ferguson police force. ferguson, our investigation will assess the police department use of force, including deadly force. it will analyze stops, searches, and arrest.
it will examine the individuals detained at ferguson city jail. in addition to other potentially discriminatory policing techniques and tactics that have been brought to light. >> investigation us ever from another civil rights investigation specifically into brown's killing at the hands of ferguson officer darren wilson. the probe could expand to other areas surrounding ferguson and missouri. a federal appeals court has overturned marriage equality bans in wisconsin and indiana, the latest in a series of rulings since the supreme court struck down the defense of marriage act last year. one judge on the seventh circuit court of appeals panel said marriage equality bans are based on "hate and savage discrimination" against lgbt people. it brings this state upholding energy quality to 21. in a rare victory for opponents of marriage equality, supper court upheld louisiana's lgbt marriage ban earlier this week. andukrainian government
pro-russian rebels reportedly are set to sign a cease-fire today aimed at ending over six months of fighting that has killed at least 2600 people and displaced over one million. the deal is expected this morning in the belarusian capital of minsk as president obama and european leaders meet in wales for major nato summit. more on ukraine after the headlines with professor stephen cohen. in virginia, former republican governor bob ronald and his wife have been found guilty of multiple corruption charges for accepting gifts from a prominent donor. the mcdonnells received more than 140 thousand dollars from star scientific ceo johnny williams. federal prosecutors contend mcdonnell accepted the money in exchange for promoting star scientific's products and providing other favors. mcdonnell was offered a plea bargain earlier this year, but opted instead to go to trial. his defense strategy largely until lacing the blame on his a nonpublic, who as
official, could not have been convicted of corruption charges on her own. mcdonnell's are attorneys argued the couple were to estranged jeff conspired in a criminal manner. ofors found mcdonnell guilty all the corruption charges against him. after the verdict was announced, virginia district attorney said mcdonnell had violated the public trust. >> this is a difficult and disappointing day for the commonwealth and its citizens. public service frequently requires sacrifice and honest always requires financial sacrifice. when public officials turn to financial gain in exchange for official acts, we're little choice but to prosecute the case. >> former governor mcdonnell is the first virginia governor in history to be charged with a crime. his attorneys have out an appeal. sentencing is scheduled for january 6.
his conviction comes days after another republican-linked corruption case came to a close. senator kenttate sorenson has pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe for defecting from one presidential campaign to another right before i was 2012 republican caucuses. $73,000 tocepted jump from michele bachmann steam over to rival candidate ron paul's. sorenson now faces up to 25 years behind bars. his guilty plea has had a domino effect in kentucky were senator mitch mcconnell's campaign manager has resigned. he ran paul's campaign at the time of sorenson's bribe. former house majority leader eric cantor has landed a new job on wall street just months after his stunning primary loss. he became the first house majority leader to ever lose a primary when he felt the tea party challenger david brett. brett ran on a staunch
anti-immigrant platform, but some analysts say cantor was done in by voter backlash against his insider politics and close wall street ties. this week the wall street investment bank mollison company announced cantor will serve as the come to his vice chair and managing director for base pay up or hundred thousand dollars a year, and a bonus of over $1 million in stock and cash. new disclosed e-mails show a national security reporter with the los angeles times pre-cleared his stories with the cia and promised the agency positive coverage. according to the intercept, ken dilanian had a closely cooperative relationship with the cia that saw him sent drafts of entire new stories prior to publication. in one case, he told the cia press officer a story he was working on about congressional oversight of drone strikes "can present a good opportunity for you guys."
and another exchange, ken dilanian sent over in a published story in full with the subject header, "does this look better?" the cia's appears to have led to major changes in at least one case. a spokesperson says ken dilanian appears to have violated company roles aren't sharing of stories prior to publication. ken dilanian declined comment for the intercept's story. today, bobdlines brain has detained --bahrain has detained abdulhadial-khawaja after she tried into the country. abdulhadial-khawaja says customs officials told her she no longer holds citizenship. she was trying to visit her ailing father who remains on a hunger strike in prison. bahrain is a key u.s. government ally, hosting the navy's fifth fleet. the comedian joan rivers has died at the age of 81. she passed away thursday for
days after going into cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure. new york authorities are investigating the clinic where she was undergoing the operation, but no wrongdoing is suspected. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. before we go on to our first started yesterday, 51,000 students in new york city? >> a big day in new york city public school system. the largest expansion of public education in memory anywhere in the country, as 51,000 children under the mayor's new plan to produce universal pre-k instruction by next year. that is 30,000 more children than were attending pre-k, full day, last year.
adding an entire year in effect to the school year for the children of new york city as the mayor says he's hoping to lift this. educators around the country are watching it. who knows how many more cities may adopt it. it went off pretty much without a hitch. there were a dozen or so programs that did not meet the goals of the city to have everything ready, but for the part, many'm a -- people said it could not be dumb because the legislature only approved the funding for it in march. but the city was able, working around the clock in the last few months, to recruit thousands of children, hire new teachers, train them, and also have about 1100 community agencies that are participating with the school system programs. >> as you pointed out, the significance of this size. this 51,000 students? >> that is larger than the entire public school system of
seattle. this is a huge endeavor. we will see what happens in the future. >> now to international news. >> the ukrainian government and pro-russian rebels are reportedly set to sign a cease-fire today aimed at ending over six month of fighting in eastern ukraine that has killed at least 2600 people and displaced over one million. the deal is expected to be signed in the belarusian capital minsk as president obama and european leaders meet in wales for major nato summit. the cease-fire comes at a time when the ukrainian military has suffered a number of defeats at the hands of the russian-backed rebels. a new dispatch from the new york review of bookss reveals the remnants of at least 68 ukrainian military vehicles, takes, armored personnel carriers, pickups, buses, and trucks are littered along 116-mile stretch in eastern ukraine were the rebels launched an offensive last week. reporter tim judah writes --
in the hours leading up to the cease-fire, pro-russian rebels launched another offensive to take the port city which stands about halfway between russia and the crimea region. the ukrainian government and nato have accused russia of sending forces into ukraine, claimed that moscow continues to deny. >> meanwhile in wales, nato has announced plans to create a new rapid reaction force in response to the ukraine crisis. it is prime minister david cameron said the new force could be deployed anywhere in the world in two to five days. >> so we must be able to act more swiftly. in 2002, nato stood down its high readiness force. i hope today we can agree a multinational spearhead force,
deployable anywhere in the world and just two to five days. this would be part of a reformed nato response force with headquarters in poland, unit in eastern allies, and prepositioned equipment and infrastructure to allow more exercises, and if necessary, rapid reinforcement. if we can agree this, the united kingdom will contribute 3500 personnel to this multinational force. >> in another development, the pentagon has announced 200 u.s. troops will be sent to ukraine later this month for multinational military exercise dubbed rapid trident. another 280 u.s. troops will work with ukrainian forces next week for military exercise aboard the uss ross in the black sea. to talk more about the crisis in ukraine and the nato summit, we're joined by stephen cohen, professor emeritus of russian studies and politics at new york university and princeton university come also the number
-- author of the number of books . his latest piece in "the nation" is titled, "patriotic heresy vs. the new cold war: neo-mccarthyites have stifled democratic debate on russia and ukraine." to democracy now! talk about the latest developments, both the decisions out of nato and what is happening on the ground in ukraine. >> one of the latest development, is what juan said about kids. a lot of kids have fled. traditionally, the first day of school is september 1. there are about 50,000 to 70,000 kids who needed to have started school. ukrainiana lot of kids will not be going to school because they're living in refugee camps. that is the story. this is a horrific, tragic, completely unnecessary war in
eastern ukraine. in my own judgment, we have contributed mightily to this tragedy. i would say historians one day will look i can say that america has blood on its hands. 3000 people have died, most of , many who could not move quickly. one million refugees. talk a cease-fire that michael and a place today, which would be wonderful, because nobody else should die for absolutely no reason. development that juan mentioned, the handful of us in this country have been trying to get into the media for nearly two we, is that it appears the ukrainian army would conquer eastern ukraine. but what they were doing is sitting outside the cities,
bombarding these cities with aircraft, rockets, heavy artillery. that is what caused the 3000 deaths in the refugees. a seriously damaged the entire infrastructure of ukraine, in the eastern cities of donetsk and the hawks. it turned out the ukrainian army did not want to enter these cities. where the rebels were embedded. these are their homes. while the killing was going on, the rebels were regrouping. there's an argument, how much up to they get from russia? some are saying russia invaded. others say, no, russia just gave them some technical and organizational support. whatever happened in the last 10 days, it has been one of the must remark will military turnarounds we witnessed in years. not onlynian army is being defeated, but it is on the run.
it is leaving its heavy equipment behind. it is really and. retreat, except in one place, the city juan mentioned. mariupol is encircled. whether that fighting will stop if the cease-fire is announced in the next couple of hours, we don't know. it is very important city. everything has changed. if there is negotiation, the government of ukraine, poroshenko, president obama, and nato thought when negotiations began, the west would dictate the terms to vladimir putin. now it is the reverse. whole issue ofhe united states forces now actually being introduced to exercises in ukraine. to what degree do you see the obama administration being drawn more and more into the conflicts. >> we have to ask ourselves
because we don't fully know. obama disappears in moments like this and reappears and says kind of big nomadic things. but are we being drawn into it or are we driving these things? it has been through ever since nato was created [indiscernible] this also true nato is deeply divided on the ukrainian issue. there's a war party, and the war party is led by poland and the three baltic states -- to a certain extent, romania, but not so much -- and britain. then there is a party that wants to accommodate russia, that thinks this is not entirely russia's fault. moreover, the germans, the french, the spanish, the at times, depend on russia in many ways for their economic prosperity. they want to negotiate, not punish, russia. where is obama? it would appear nowhere except occasionally he comes in as he given estonia and seem to
a speech that favors the war party. >> let's go to the, the president obama when he was in the former soviet republic of estonia, blaming russia for the issues and vowed to defend baltic states. >> it has many pro-russian separatists who are encouraged by russia, financed by russia, trained by russia, supplied by russia, and armed by russia. russian forces that have now moved into ukraine are not on a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission. their russian combat forces with russian weapons in russian tanks. >> professor stephen cohen? >> here is the underlying problem. what obama just said implies, if not asserts, if it wasn't for russia, ukraine would be stable. that russia is destabilizing ukraine.
person would believe that to be the case. ukraine is in the throes of four which is precipitated by last november in this february when elected president of ukraine was overthrown by a street mob and that set off a civil war. primarily between the west, kiev, and east. there's also censured ukraine here and there. became, as i said earlier this year, a proxy war between the united states and russia. it is absolutely true that russia has made the destabilization of ukraine worse. it is also absolutely true the united states has can treated to the destabilization of ukraine. but if tomorrow the u.s. were to go away and russia were to go away, ukraine would still be in the civil war. we know a civil war czar. we had one in our country.
russia had one. they're a good many civil wars around the world in the 20th century. the point is, the only way you can end a civil war, either one side completely conquers and the other side gives -- as happened with the confederacy in the united states -- or there's a stalemate or summit he says, enough killing because these are brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers, parts of the same family, and you negotiate. we perhaps we'll see later today or tomorrow whether the cease-fire comes and if it holds. negotiating the civil war is terribly complex. in some ways, we're still arguing about the american civil war. i grew up in kentucky. in my childhood, people were still cleaning we, the south, won. end ifsn't going to an the u.s. and russia goes way. obama says russia destabilized ukraine. it is a half truth. >> you have come under some
criticism by other russian and it's -- experts as being an apologist for russian intervention in ukraine. an op-ed piece claimed you are questioning whether ukraine have the right to exercise control over its own territory, that it was plotting to seize its own territory. i'm wondering your response to that criticism? unpleasant,h and many libelous and slanderous things have in said about me. which suggests to me, they have no factual response to me. hear whatke to factual mistakes i have made, and i haven't seen any because i am a scholar and i try not to make factual mistakes. it is not about whether ukraine has the right to take back its territory. the problem is, as i just said, a civil war began when we, the united states and europe, backed
a street coup that overthrew an elected president. when you overthrow the constitution and when you overthrow or president, you're likely to get a civil war. when you have a civil war, the country is divided. in this case, the government in kiev is trying to conquer where the rebels, so to speak are located. the problem is, the rebel provinces do not recognize the legitimacy of the government in kiev. the u.s. recognizes it, but that doesn't make it legitimate. let's go to kiev. obama also said, and i kind of chuckled, that we are helping ukraine build a democracy. what kind of democracy in kiev? that a presidential election and about 1/5 of the country could not vote. now poroshenko has called a parliamentary election in october. but where the war is in the
south and east, they won't vote. so you end up with a rum country, further dividing the country. meanwhile, they're shutting down democracy in kiev. the communist party is being banned. another party that represents the east is being banned. people are being arrested. there is still democracy in kiev , because it is a wartime government. you don't get democracy. these assertions by the u.s. that we are democracy builders and it is all putin's fault, it that half truth, it is a falsehood. >> the possibility of ukraine in nato and what that means? >> [indiscernible] >> explain. >> next question. it's clear. it's clear. by nato's own rules, ukraine cannot join. a country that does not control its own territory -- in this case, kiev controls less and crimea, a country
that does not control s own territory cannot join. secondly, you have to make certain economic clinical and military criteria. ukraine most important, has linked russia not only in terms of being russia's central security zone, but linked conjugal he, so to speak. there are millions of not tens of millions of russian and ukrainians married together. put it in nato annual put a barricade through millions of families. russia will react militarily. in fact, it already is. look what they're doing in wales. they're going to create a so-called rapid to plummet force of 4000 -- rapid to plummet force of 4000. 15,000 or less, rebels and ukraine's are crushing 50,000 member ukrainian army.
4000 against one million man russian army. the real reason for creating the so-called rapid deployment force is infrastructure. military bases need to be on russia's borders. balticll put them in the republic, poland, and romania. why is this important and felt nato has expanded for 20 years but it has primarily been political expansion. now it is becoming military. within a short time, we will have -- we have a new cold war, but here's the difference. the last cold war, the military confrontation was in berlin, far from russia. now it will be, if they go ahead with this nato decision, on russia's borders. russia will been leave the theoric nuclear agreement reagan and gorbachev signed to
abolish short range nuclear missiles. it was the first time nuclear weapons ever had been abolished. where are the nuclear abolitionist today? where are these people going to? we're looking at a nuclear arms race. the tripwire from using these weapons is enormous. one other thing, russia has about i think, 10,000 tactical nuclear weapons. you use these for short distances. you don't need an airplane or missile. they can be fired from artillery. their nuclea radioactive. russia has about 10,000. we have about 500. russia's military doctrine clearly says that if russia is threatened by overwhelming conventional forces, we will use tactical nuclear weapons. ourhen obama boasts than
conventional weapons are vastly superior to russia, he is feeding into this argument by the russian hawks that we have to get our tactical nuclear weapons ready. so bring nato -- i mean, bring ukraine into nato, and all this stuff will be up and ready and then it will just take the shootdown of an aircraft. there seems to be an immediate of not telling us who shot down the aircraft. but it would take something like that, which can happen in these circumstances, to launch something -- >> what you mean, there seems to be an agreement between them countries? >> in addition to the insurance company, which technically has responsibility, for it has the black boxes, the netherlands are
involved, there was a report the other day that these parties, the state agreed they would not to voltage individually what they have discovered. that have plenty of time to interpret the black boxes. there are reports from germany that the white house version of what happened is not true, therefore, you have to look elsewhere for the culprit who did the shooting down. they're sitting on satellite intercepts. they won't release the air controller's conversations in kiev with the doomed aircraft. why not? do the pilot say or speculate, oh, my god, we're being fired on by a jet fighter next to us, what is going on? we know there were two ukrainian jet fighters. we don't know, but somebody knows. from who get something is investigating this with what they actually know. >> we want to thank you -- >> that is a digression, i
apologize. >> it was very interesting. thank you, stephen cohen. author of a number of books on russia and the soviet union, his latest piece in "the nation" is, "patriotic heresy vs. the new cold war: neo-mccarthyites have stifled democratic debate on russia and ukraine." we will link to it. ,his is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back, bp could face up to $18 billion in fines. a judge just called bp grossly negligent and reckless. we will find out why. ♪ [music break]
i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> a federal judge ruled thursday that bp was grossly negligent and reckless in the lead up to the 2010 deepwater horizon oil spill that killed 11 workers and caused more than 200 million gallons of oil to flood into the gulf of mexico. bp could face up to $18 billion in extra fines following the ruling. the company has artie paid out $28 billion in claims for oil spill costs. attorney general eric holder applauded the ruling. >> we are pleased to the district court in new orleans has found the largest oil spill in united states history was caused by bp's gross negligence and willful misconduct. the court's findings will ensure the company is helpfully accountable for its recklessness . the case was vigorously pursued by the united states still are legal team marks another significant step ford in the justice department's continuing efforts to seek justice on
behalf of of the american people for this disaster. and we are confident that this decision will serve as a strong deterrent to anyone who was intended to sacrifice safety and the environment and the pursuit of profit. >> new orleans u.s. district bpge called barbie a found subcontractors transocean and halliburton negligent in the accident. earlier this week, the contracting giant halliburton reached a $1.1 billion settlement with plaintiff's resolving almost all of the copies financial exposure. >> bp declined our request for an interview. on its website it wrote -- we're joined now by antonia juhasz, author of, "black tide: the devastating impact of the gulf oil spill." welcome back to democracy now!
talk about the significance of this ruling. >> thank you for having me. it is incredibly important ruling. as she set an introduction, i think the most important -- important these is the judge found bp, transocean, and halliburton guilty and negligent or the events that led to the largest offshore oil spill in world history. these are the largest offshore operators in the world, certainly in the united states. the fact they behaved negligently is very worrisome for offshore oil develop an in general. and then we square and on bp because bp is ultimately responsible for these series of events that led to the disaster. in the case of bp, judge barbier said over and over again that bp essentially chose profit over safety, chose profit over securing its responsibility to the environment, to the 11 men
who died on the rig, and that profit driven motive let it to behave with gross negligence and .illful misconduct this is something that anyone who is been following this case, as i have for four years, knew was the truth. that bp acted with gross negligence. what that means is in the final stage of the trial coming up, when the judge determines how much money bp owes for this disaster, bp now faces the highest possible fine under the clean water act. so for the 5 million barrels of oil that were released as a result of this disaster, it $4300 pertential of barrel of oil spilled instead of spill if it had just been found negligent. >> the judge's decision was quite extensive. it also cited, as i understand, a phone conversation that happened between some of the managers of the rig and bp
executives in houston, 40 minutes before the actual explosion. could you talk about that? >> yeah. one of the things that has been very clear is that there was a series of decisions, really, in a year leading up to this disaster, but always down to the final minutes, where bp was over and over again given warnings, as was transocean and halliburton, that things were going wrong. an interview i have done with oil workers who work in the gulf across many companies, they said that bp continually made the and each of the companies to present ahead and get to that oil. in that 40 minute conversation, what we heard was executives on the shore in houston in the lead bp workers on the rig essentially deciding down to the the are decisions that
we could be making that slow things down that could top the process that is unfolding and instead, they decided to press forward. and the similar choices were made over and over again over the history of the development of this well. >> the profit driven decisions that were made leading up to this? cases thatre so many were cited within this ruling. i think one of the most important things is that this decision by judge barbier was really focused and just on the decision-making that led to the explosion and the disaster itself. so he cited very specific cases of decisions around the summit job that halliburton conducted, decisions where bp could have run a series of tests by company that had been on the rig that could have performed very
critical tests that bp decided to go ahead and send them home. bp used old products that were sitting on the rick instead of bringing in newer products that used less security devices and it could have chosen. and all of these were decisions around time it would've taken to perform the extra tests, to use better cement. instead, he chose the quicker, cheaper method. >> the blowout preventer wasn't checked in 10 years? that isis is a problem both a problem of transocean, the largest rig owner and operator in the gulf of mexico and one of the largest in the world, and bp. the blowout preventer, it is a key device that sits at the base of the ocean floor that is supposed to lock in the well in the case of a blowout. it had run out of battery.
the batteries had been allowed to run down. horrific and shocking. but that was one of the causes of the disaster. they simply hadn't prodded into have a check. -- recently hadn't brought it in to have it checked. beyond that, again, what this decision was about was the very specific decisions that led bp and transocean and halliburton to cause this disaster. what barbier could not really rulon and only alluded to in the decision as of these are also problems that go beyond this one disaster. one of the problems with the blowout preventer wasn't that it had been allowed to have its battery run out, which is the blowoutut presenter itself, even if it had been adequately charged, it probably wasn't capable of performing the function it was supposed to do. it was not designed properly.
the broader problem with the blowout preventer has been cited by the u.s. chemical safety board, numerous other oversight bodies that have looked at this disaster to say, this isn't just a threat in this case, but rather another deepwater horizon-like disaster is not a question of if, but when, given much broader problems within the industry, including the very specific problem with the blowout preventer itself. >> in the judge's ruling, halliburton came off pretty lightly. the judge ruled that bp was 67% responsible for the catastrophe, that transocean was 30% responsible for the catastrophe, and halliburton only 3%. your sense of the relative guilt of the parties involved here? >> that is really a determination about the fact that bp is ultimately the leaseholder and operator and is -- ultimately bears the
responsibility. halliburton's founder performed with negligence and to have made decisions that were illegal and were simply not appropriate for ensuring the safety of this well. and halliburton is the largest of the service countries in the world, certainly one of the largest an offshore oil department. the fact it is making really basic decisions egregiously a negligently when it comes to the risks involved with offshore drilling, which are of course enormous. the largest offshore oil julie disaster in history, $5 million barrels.on the fact is, bp is the leasee, ultimately responsible. it each of these actors made very serious, bad decisions and misconducts including
halliburton and transocean. >> antonia juhasz, president obama expanding offshore oil trolling? >> very worrisome. was specifically looking at this incident, but the many oversight boards over the past four years that have looked at this disaster upset over and over again that this disaster is representative of systemic problems within the industry. i believe those problems had to do with the fact that the industry is moving ahead based on technology and money. it has the technology to physically do the drilling. it doesn't have the technology to protect in the case of a disaster. and it is moving very rapidly ahead in terms of risk aversion. it doesn't particularly care about the risks because the oil is out there and the likelihood of another disaster is very real. at the same moment that all of the bodies that are investigating this disaster have come to the same conclusions,
the obama administration is expanding offshore drilling, looking to move offshore drilling off the coast of the atlantic, a new parts of alaska in the arctic, and to move even deeper into the gulf of mexico. significantly farther out and deeper than were the deepwater horizon disaster occurred. all of the findings tell us this just isn't safe. the industry doesn't know how to do this in terms of averting risk, dealing with catastrophes when they happen, and preventing them from happening in the first place. just because it has a profit motive and a lot of oil in it site doesn't mean it should be allowed to pursue that profit and oil. >> antonia juhasz, thank you for being with us, author of, "black tide: the devastating impact of the gulf oil spill." when we come back, we will talk about the fast food protest yesterday. or than 400 people arrested across the united states. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
fightfor15. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> fast food workers fighting and unionurly wage rights took to the streets in 150 cities across the country thursday, from las vegas to chicago and detroit, to little rock, arkansas and here in new york city. because i'm trying to keep my house. i don't want to be homeless. i just became the head of the household. i work at wendy's. they did not give me any sick leave. they still expect me to do the normal duties i was doing before my arm was hurt. just a lot of little things that i don't get paid to deal with. >> more than 400 workers and their supporters were arrested during the strikes as they engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience by blocking streets
during rush hour. for more we're joined in pittsburgh by ashona osborne, a fast food worker who previously worked for mcdonald's and now works for wendy's. she was arrested thursday. welcome to democracy now! you were involved also with the protests at the mcdonald's shareholder meeting. can you talk about why you went out yesterday and got arrested? >> yes. thank you for having me. i went out yesterday basically to join my family. we are called the fight for 15 and try to get a union. we're basically trying to fight this poverty we're living in, trying to have successful wages and have a better wage for our family. >> in terms of the sit downs in protest, why did you feel you had to resort to that as well? scoreically, to let the operations and franchises know this movement is not a game.
volunteered that we're going to take a nonviolent civil disobedience and sit down to make a point to the ceos and corporate that we are not playing. we are your workers. if it wasn't for us, you would not have these companies. >> do you mind telling us how much you make right now for wendy's? >> i make $7.25 an hour. >> talk about what your demand is. >> i am demanding $15 an hour for my pay. >> what has been the response of fellow workers to the idea you can have such a huge increase if they band together? are in agreement with us. yesterday, we have a lot of people from the public just walk off jobs and walk-up the street and join our strike. also people who are ignorant of the situation and don't understand the meaning of our movement. that once we go up, everyone goes up. atcan't afford to live
$7.25. >> are also joined by mary kay from seiu, which represents two main workers in health care, public and property services. you have been calling on home health care aides to march alongside the fast food strikers. talk about the success of the strike as you see it, mary kay henry, and why seiu is involved. >> ashona osborne and workers all across the country took this movement to the next level yesterday. they shined a light on the gross inequity of pay for these jobs were people work hard and can't even afford basic necessities and make ends meet. $15 and a union is a way to make sure people have a living wage job where they can support their families and get ahead. home care workers know the same experience. where they don't get enough
hours to make ends meet. most home care workers in this country earn minimum wage. they decided to join with fast food workers yesterday in building the broadest, most powerful movement possible to insist it is possible to work hard for a living and be able to afford enough to eat and then spend that money in our economy so we can buy groceries and hardware store, get clothing for our kids coming to the economy roaring again for everybody in every community in this country. >> mary kay henry, one of the arguments of many of these firms as this movement has been gathering strength as they essentially work with independent franchisees who are small businessmen and operate or own their own franchises. could you talk about that in the context of the recent national labor relations board decision? >> at heard from workers like ashona osborne and dj in sacrament yesterday that every decision in that store is dictated by the multinational corporation that has a contract
with the franchisee. how much coke from a with the cost of a burger is, what napkins are bought from where. so workers understand the shots being called a by mcdonald's, wendy's, burger king and that is why they're holding the corporations accountable for lifting wages. franchisees contracts can be changed and record profits can be put in the pockets of frontline workers so they can spend it in their communities and we can all share in the prosperity of the incredibly hard work of fast food workers are doing each and every day. >> mary kay henry, steve greenhouse writes in "the new york times," that within the seiu there is been some grumbling about why has the union spent millions of dollars to back the fast food workers when they are not in the industries, that the union has traditionally represented. what is your answer to that? >> the seiu leaders and members were proud to stand with fast food workers yesterday.
i was in oakland with health care workers, janitors, security officers. they know when fast food workers win, wages are going to rise across the service sector and will have an impact on home care workers and childcare workers and airport workers. we are incredibly proud and thrilled to have the backs of the fast food workers because we will do whatever it takes to help them win. , president henry obama on labor day, specifically, mentioned the fast food workers movement. i think we have a clip of him speaking. >> all across the country right now there's a national movement going on made up a fast food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity. there is no denying the simple truth, america deserves a raise. folks are doing very well on wall street.
there are doing very well in the corporate or dreams. give america a raise. trucks that was president obama on labor day just before these protests broke out. or wass a coincidence your union able to get to the president to say, listen, mention this because we're getting ready to have a major protest this week? >> i think the president of people throughout this nation are incredibly inspired by the fearlessness of these workers who are not going to stop until they win. we looked at that clip from the president at 5:45 yesterday morning in oakland. workers who at not had a chance because they were working on labor day, were incredibly thrilled that the president of the united states is saying what they're doing makes complete sense. that it is wrong for multinational corporations that are earning record profits to be paying poverty wages. and what workers are doing is joining together in the tradition of this country to say
that we deserve better and we're going to get it for ourselves, our families, and for the future. >> ashona osborne, are you afraid of richer vision, of retaliation against your protest? this is the second time you have been arrested. >> i'm not. it just motivates me to keep doing it more and more. >> do you think you will witness? >> yes, ma'am. >> do see a change in attitudes both with workers and managers? >> i see a change with workers. this strike, we had way more people walk off the job and way more people from the public and workers come and join us. we started out with about 10 people. by the time they got to noon, we had over 300 people striking together as one. >> mary kay henry, we getting
more and more cities around the country looking at living wage laws. we are seeing the spread of the fast food workers movement. your sense of whether any of these major companies are on the verge or likely to finally concede on the main demand of $15 an hour? >> i have no idea what these copies are thinking, but i know there's been a huge change these workers have accomplished. 100,000 workers in seattle will see their wages rise to $15. we just settled a collective bargaining agreement for a late unified school workers. -- l.a. unified school workers. johns hopkins hospital workers just because you did $15. it is an amazing movement when there is already victories that fast food workers can take incredible pride that they made happen. that is why we're so glad that 1.5 million home care workers are answering the call and joining this movement so we can
spread it throughout the entire service sector and make sure that when we work hard for a living, you can afford to feed your family and maybe even get your hair done or take a vacation someday. we have got to change the nature of work in this country. these workers are leading the way for us. >> mary kay henry, how'd does the -- how does the immigrants movement tie into this? they suffered a setback, believing president obama was assign an executive order stopping deportations, but that doesn't look like it is happening before the general elections. >> i sought in oakland yesterday, many of the workers were latino and immigrated from central america and mexico. we have seen it across this country as the organizations get communities.al we hope the president will take
bold action, but we understand we have to grow a powerful movement that is not subject to the bad politics of this nation, that makes the case where everybody in this nation understands that we have to get the republican house to act on commonsense immigration reform so 11 million people can enter our democracy and join in the fullness of our economy. we're not going to stop our movement building on immigrant justice or economic justice and till we win. >> mary kay henry, president of seiu, service and place international union, thank you for joining us from the bay area. ashona osborne, from pittsburgh, working at wendy's, also worked at mcdonald's, arrested thursday during the fast food worker strikes there. over 400 people were arrested across the united states. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
>> on today's show, i explore the passion in what i call "food is art" first with friend and local renowned chef who plates up from fresh local bounty, and i drop in on my dear friend and multi-talented artist whose lifestyle is art. then, back in my home kitchen, it's a flavorful fresh herb frittata, and i share my nana's meatballs and quick marinara sauce. then, the perfect ending--a cookie for dessert, but not just any cookie. biscotti. hi, i'm george hirsch. welcome to "george hirsch lifestyle."