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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  October 4, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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10/04/17 10/04/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: i hate to tell you, puerto rico, but you have thrown our budget a little out of whack because we spent a lot of money on puerto rico will stop that is fine. we saved a lot of lives. amy: as the death toll in puerto 93% rises to at least 34, of the nearly 3.5 million residents remain without electricity. president trump visited the island and tossed rolls of paper towels into the crowd. then in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in las vegas, house speaker paul ryan says he
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will suspend a bill that would make gun silencers widely available even as senate majority leader mitch mcconnell rejects calls for new gun control laws. we will look at how australia changed its culture of gun violence and its laws after a massacre 20 years ago. >> about 11 times higher than in australia and up to 15, 20 times higher than in a other developed countries. in terms of massacres, the u.s. has a larger number of massacres, even in countries in the developing world are countries in conflict. amy: than this weekend, hundreds will gather in raleigh for the north carolina naacp state convention, the last one that will be presided over by reverend dr. william barber as president of the state conference. barbara announced his resignation from his post earlier this year to focus on
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his work with repairers of the breach and the launch of the poor people's campaign. quite we have to have a sustained movement. i believe what we need is a poor people's campaign, a national call to moral revival. what we have seen the trumpism is an onslaught of attacks on the poor, attacks on health care, attacks on environment, and a morbid commitment to the war and the war economy than to really transforming our world and transforming america for the betterment of all people. amy: we will speak with bishop barber about voting rights, gun control, and the climate as well. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president donald trump traveled to puerto rico tuesday on a whirlwind visit, two weeks after hurricane maria knocked out power across the island and left more than half the territory's
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nearly 3.5 million residents without access to clean water. throughout the trip, trump repeatedly praised his administration's response to the storm, comparing it to george w. bush's handling of hurricane katrina in 2005. pres. trump: if you look at a real catastrophe like katrina and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overbearing. nobody has ever seen anything like this. what is your death count as of this moment? 17? 16 people certified. 16 versus in the thousands. you can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together. amy: trump's comment came as puerto rican officials raised the official death toll from 16 to 34, though the center for investigative journalism reports that number could rise to the
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hundreds in the final count. trip,g one point in his trump throughout supplies to hurricane victims, tossing rolls of paper towels into the crowd, an action that drew online condemnation for being out-of-touch considering the ongoing humanitarian crisis. in san juan, protesters gathered outside the convention center, the face of u.s. relief operations. this is sonia santiago hernandez of the group mothers against the war. >> an opportunity for him to show he is visiting the colony, the virginry of islands. in reality, he is not going to solve anything. what we're seeing is the puerto rican people are strong and we are together helping ourselves. what we see in our communities is a military occupation. we are not really seeing the
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so-called help that the military be providing.o amy: on tuesday evening, president trump shocked observers a suggesting he might eke to cancel puerto rico $74 billion debt. this is president trump speaking with fox news. pres. trump: we're going to work something out. we have to look at their debt structure. a lot of money to your friends on wall street. where going to have to wipe that out. you can say goodbye to that. i don't know if it is goldman sachs, but whoever it is, we can wave divided up. we have to do something. the debt was massive on the island. amy: along his route, president trump saw a sign of a woman who held it and it said "you are a bad hombre." we will have more on president trump's visit to puerto rico after headlines. in las vegas, new details have emerged showing how 64-year-old
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stephen paddock carried out sunday night's massacre at a country music festival, which left 59 people dead and 527 others wounded. leaked photographs from the crime scene on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay hotel show paddock's body on the floor near what appears to be a hand-written note on a table. it's not known what's written on the paper. the photos also show a number of assault rifles strewn around the room, including one with a scope on a bipod used to steady the gun. other photos show high capacity magazines. 12 of paddock's rifles had bump-stock modifications that effectively made them fully automatic machine guns. police say paddock rigged two video cameras in the hallway outside his room and another over the peephole to his door in order to look for approaching police or security officers. meanwhile, authorities in manila say the fbi is preparing to interview stephen paddock's
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partner, marilou danley, after paddock wired $100,000 to her account in the philippines last week. danley returned to the u.s. on tuesday, and though authorities don't believe she was involved in the shooting, she's being treated as a person of interest in the case. this comes as the "l.a. times" reports that workers at a starbucks at a casino in mesquite, nevada, saw stephen paddock repeatedly verbally abuse danley. at one point, he' he scolded her saying "i'm paying for your drink just like i'm paying for you." although paddock had no convictions for domestic abuse, a large loophole in nevada law allows abusers to acquire high-powered rifles and other guns. this is elizabeth becker, former head of nevada's chapter of moms demand action for gun sense in america, speaking tuesday on democracy now! >> people who are convicted, domestic abusers, are legally
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prohibited from purchasing weapons. this is why the gun show loophole as we call it is so dangerous because if someone is a prohibited purchaser in nevada, they are very aware that they can go get weapons without a background check just by going to a private sale. amy: president trump is scheduled to travel to las vegas today, where he's set to meet with first responders and survivors of the massacre. on capitol hill, house speaker paul ryan said he was suspending a bill that would make gun silencers widely available. ryan appeared to leave open the possibility that lawmakers would take the bill up again later in the fall. meanwhile, senate republican -- majority leader mitch mcconnell rejected calls tuesday by some democrats for new gun control laws in the wake of the las vegas massacre. >> i think it is particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this. it just happened within the last day and a half. entirely premature to be discussing about legislative solutions.
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we are in the middle of the investigation. we will see what that reveals. at the end of that, the rebuke an appropriate time to discuss it. in the meantime, our priority is on tax reform, as my colleagues have indicated, we're going to present head with that. amy: the republican push for massive tax cuts comes as tax policy groups warn trump's plan would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest 1% of americans. on the senate floor, vermont independent senator bernie sanders said cuts to the estate tuesday tax alone would shower tens of billions of dollars of tax breaks on the koch brothers and the walton family, heirs to the walmart fortune. >> does anybody for one second think that at a time when so many of our people are struggling, whenever $20 trillion national debt, that we should be passing legislation that gives the wealthiest family in this country up to a $52
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billion tax break for repealing the estate tax? amy: defense secretary james mattis told senators tuesday he opposes a move to withdraw the u.s. from the iran nuclear agreement -- putting him at odds with president trump, who campaigned on a promise to rip up the deal. mattis' comments come less than two weeks before the u.s. faces a deadline on whether to recertify iran's compliance. >> if we can confirm that iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is been our best interest, then, clearly, we should stay with it. i believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with. amy: defense secretary mattis also downplayed a split between president trump and secretary of state rex tillerson over north korea's nuclear weapons program. last weekend, tillerson said he was open to direct talks with north korea when he was in
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beijing, prompting trump to tweet that tillerson was "wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man." this comes as nbc news reported tillerson was on the verge of resigning last summer over his repeated policy disputes with president trump. at a july meeting at the pentagon with cabinet officials and members of trump's national security team, tillerson reportedly called the president a moron. the trump administration said tuesday it is expelling 15 cuban diplomats from the u.s. in response to a series of bizarre, unexplained health problems suffered by u.s. diplomats in cuba. the move comes after the state department said it's withdrawing more than half its diplomatic staff from its havana embassy, after workers there suffered hearing loss and brain injuries in what's been described as a possible sonic attack. cuba denies any involvement and says it's helping to investigate the incidents. cuban foreign minister bruno
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rodriguez on tuesday accused the trump administration of rolling back a thaw in u.s.-cuban relations begun under president obama. politicalarranted decision to demand 15 employs about embassy leave the territory of the united states is an active and absolutely political nature that only is for those who want to derail the possibility of relations between both countries continue to move forward. and those who want to turn back the progress achieved over the past two years. amy: in spain, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of cities throughout the catalonia region tuesday, joining a general strike aimed at protesting police violence last sunday against prospective voters in a banned independence referendum. catalan regional president carles puigdemont said he was preparing a major address from barcelona later today, vowing to declare independence from spain
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within the coming days. the protests came as king felipe vi lashed out against the catalan independence movement in a televised national address. in france, parliament approved a sweeping bill tuesday that will make many of the government's emergency powers permanent. under the new anti-terrorism bill, police have wide latitude to arrest people without judicial oversight and raid homes without a warrant, even at night. the bill also allows police to prevent public gatherings, restrict people's movements, and close mosques -- all without the permission of a judge. france has extended a state of emergency six times since terror attacks struck paris in november of 2015. go to to see our interview with uyasser when we aired from paris, france, last thursday. former iraqi president and kurdish leader jalal talabani has died. talabani became iraq's first non-arab president in 2005 at
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the height of the u.s.-led occupation. he's credited with smoothing over iraq's sectarian tensions, but his government was repeatedly accused of operating death squads and torture centers. in mexico, officials have raised the death toll from last month's massive earthquake near mexico city to 366. on tuesday, rescue workers said they were working to recover the last remaining body from a collapsed office building. scotland has banned the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking in a major win for environmentalists. scotland joins wales, which banned fracking in 2015, and the move increases pressure on lawmakers in england to reverse their support for the environmentally destructive practice. back in the united states, former equifax ceo richard smith apologized to lawmakers on capitol hill tuesday over security breach that left sensitive personal information for 143 million americans exposed to hackers. the apology came after fortune magazine reports smith retired from equifax with a golden parachute worth as much as $90
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million, or roughly $.63 for every customer whose data was potentially exposed. meanwhile, executives at yahoo said tuesday that a security breach in 2013 was far worse than previously reported -- with all 3 billion of the internet company's user accounts hacked -- making it the largest data breach in history. and dairy workers who supply ice cream maker ben & jerry's have signed a labor agreement they will senior protections for the mostly immigrant farmworkers of vermont. the legally binding deal known as the milk with dignity program creates a farmworker code of conduct for ben & jerry's supply chain, giving workers a bonus in each paycheck and creates a third-party monitoring agency to enforce the agreement. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the
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country and around the world. we begin today in puerto rico, where officials say the death toll from hurricane maria in has increased from 16 to 34, though the center for investigative journalism reports that number could still rise. governor ricardo rossello says just said tuesday that 19 people died during the storm, while 15 more died from indirect causes related to its aftermath. rossello made the announcement after a short visit by president donald trump to the u.s. territory, where nearly 3.5 million residents remain without electricity. at one point on the trip, trump handed out supplies to hurricane victims and tossed rolls of paper towels into the crowd, an action that drew online condemnation for being out-of-touch considering the ongoing humanitarian crisis. trump and first lady melania also met with residents of the neighborhood of guaynabo near the capitol san juan.
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on the way, at least one protester held a hand-lettered sign along the road that read "you are a bad hombre." this is trump was this exchange with a survivor. trunk of how long have you been in this house? >> but 20 years. trunk up and how long in puerto rico? >> we have come and gone for most of our life, but most of it -- pres. trump: you always come back. quite puerto rico is puerto rico. pres. trump: you have never seen anything like this? >> no. feel safe indo you the house? >> we were safe. pres. trump: not a lot of movement? vibration, movement? >> no. >> the windows. pres. trump: the windows? >> we have a good house. pres. trump: in the meantime, here you are. we're going to help you out. >> thank you, mr. president. pres. trump: great to see you.
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amy: during his visit, trump shook hands with the city of san juan's mayor carmen yulin cruz, who had earlier pleaded with the federal government to end the inefficiency and bureaucracy that prevented aid from being distributed. but trump did not call on cruz during his meeting with officials at muñiz air national guard, where he praised his administration's relief efforts. pres. trump: i had to take, puerto rico, but you have thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on puerto rico. that's fine. we saved a lot of lives. if you look at -- every death is , but if you look at a real catastrophe like katrina and you lo at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died and you look at what happened here with, really, a storm that was just totally overbearing. nobody has ever seen anything like this. and what is your death count as of this moment? 17?
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16 people certified. 16 verses in the thousands. you can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together. 16 verses literally thousands of people. amy: the mayor of san juan, who whenevereted against, shaking hands, said "this is not about politics. it is about lives." trump pulled away a publicly said "thank you, thank you." this comes as lieutenant general russel honore, who is credited with turning around the bush administration's slow response to hurricane katrina, has criticized the trump administration's relief operation in puerto rico. protesters gathered outside the convention center in san juan. the president of the working people's party of puerto rico. we are here denouncing the presence of the president of the united states, mr. donald trump, in puerto rico. the presencecing
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because first of all, it is ineffective. second of all, his mere presence and his racist, homophobic, misogynistic views is not welcome here in puerto rico. >> it is an opportunity from the show the world he is visiting the colony, the territory of puerto rico and the virgin islands, but in reality, he is not going to solve anything. what we are saying is the puerto rican people is strong and we are together helping ourselves. what we see in our communities is in military occupation. we are not really seeing the so-called help that the military are supposed to be providing most of amy: protester standing outside the convention center in san juan. talk about the
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significance of this trip, what happened and did not happen. juan: coming up two weeks after the hurricane, this is very late for the president to come out to puerto rico. the images of him tossing paper towels to the crowd when what people really need at this point is electricity and water. basic -- the basic needs that they have. amy: 93% of the island does not have electricity? juan: it is amazing that we are talking two weeks later and still the vast majority of the people on the island do not have electricity. amy: president trump called him lucky. juan: he made his while comparisons to her teacher -- katrina saying it was nowhere near as bad as searching katrina. many more people died in the flooding in hurricane katrina. but he does not grasp the severity of the crisis that is still continuing and will continue for months on the island because of a failed infrastructure situation that
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people are dealing with. the other interesting thing is his remarks he made in an tuesdayw on fox news on , president said his administration would help puerto rico wipe out its debt to help it recover from extensive damage caused by hurricane maria. here is what he said. pres. trump: we're going to work something out. we have to look at their debt structure. they owe a lot of money to your friends on wall street. we're going have to wipe that out. you can say goodbye to that. don't know if it is goldman sachs, but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that. the debt was massive on the island. geraldo was speaking of rivera, fox news, who is a personal friend of donald trump. they know each other well. he is obviously aware that geraldo is a puerto rican origin. he made his astonishing comments. eso ability to actually implement because the bankruptcy case of puerto rico is now
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before a federal judge. charge of what happens to the debt. unless the president all of the sun is going to come up with the money and assume the debt, this is now -- amy: could he bailout puerto rico? juan: he would need congressional approval to come up with that kind of money. i doubt the republicans in the congress are in a position right now to say "we're going to finance $70 billion in debt for puerto rico." were try to get a huge amount of that wiped out. again, this is now before federal judge. it is the court trying to decide this, not congress, less congress comes in with money, and appropriation to be able to deal with the situation. i think this is more trump bravado speaking to his friend, geraldo, which he knew would get some kind of attention and the latino community. amy: but the significance of this, how was the debt accrued?
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juan: we are talking about roughly $73 million -- roughly $73 billion that is owed to bondholders. there's another $45 billion or so that is owed in unfunded pension liabilities. really, the total debt of puerto rico is more between $120 billion to $130 billion. the talk about forgiving part of the bond debt without also dealing with how are the pensions of the puerto rican employees,ernment both those already retired and those who are still working, how are they going to be funded because the government has no money available to find the existing pension obligations that it has. it is a much more complicated situation than the president saying we're going to look at wiping out the debt. amy: the military bases in puerto rico? anthere were at one point
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astonishing number of military bases. about 13% of the total land area of puerto rico was taken up by military bases, including the famous rainy strategic air base,d base, the naval the roosevelt roads, which was at one point the largest naval base in the world of the united base for major training of the puerto rican national guard. haveost of those bases been closed down. in the aftermath of the protest against the excess in the early -- in the late 1990's and early 2000's, once the washington decided to close the training facility, it was honest as if the military in revenge for these protests began one by one closing all of the bases, rooseveltclosing rose. so most of the military bases
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are no longer functioning. amy: and it is now a superfund site. they hit it so hard, the u.s. navy bombing it computing it -- almost dailys of bombing practices on the island. amy: president trump met on the national guard base. juan: some of the facilities have interned over for national guard use. most of the former military bases now have been decommissioned for the most part. the role that puerto rico played as a military outpost in the caribbean and latin america has ceased to exist now for at least several years. amy: finally, his meeting with the governor and then the san juan mayor, though he clearly can't shaking her hand, she says this is not about politics, it is about -- he pulls away o'malley signed other people saying "thank you, thank you."
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juan: i think the governor, force, people do not understand the governor was elected in november. he is been in office as long as donald trump has been in office. he is a young governor, and electedced, largely was because his father was the governor years back. his father played a big role in creating the debt crisis that puerto rico is now dealing with. he is a very conservative, pro-statehood governor while carmen yulin cruz is from the radical wing of the popular democratic party, the sovereignty wing of the popular democratic party. so the governor had a direct interest in playing up to president trump in trying to get resources from him. but the governor himself, from what i have seen of the work in puerto rico, the local government did not do a good job
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in preparation for this hurricane. so there is some blame to be put on the local -- on that governor is on his cabinet, relatively inexperienced come in some of the problems in being able to respond quickly once the hurricane hit. amy: and the sign held up as presidential motorcade went by referring bad hombre" to president trump saying that about mexicans. juan: any latino seedings are criminal of one kind or another, that is one of his favorite phrases, " bad hombre." amy: we will continue to follow the crisis in puerto rico. only come back, president trump heads today to las vegas, to the massacre sit we will talk about thate. in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to the
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aftermath of the deadly shooting in las vegas as new details emerge about how 64-year-old stephen paddock carried out sunday night's massacre at a country music festival, which left 59 people dead and 527 others wounded. leaked photographs from the crime scene on the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay hotel show paddock's body on the floor near what appears to be a hand-written note on a table. it's not known what's written on the paper. the photos also show a number of assault rifles strewn around the room, including one with a scope on a bipod used to steady the gun. other photos show high capacity magazines and 12 of paddock's rifles had bump-stock modifications that effectively made them fully automatic machine guns. amy: meanwhile, on capitol hill, house speaker paul ryan said he is suspending consideration of a bill that would make gun silencers widely available. he appeared to leave open the possibility that lawmakers would take the bill up again later in the fall. but senate republican leader
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mitch mcconnell rejected calls tuesday by some democrats for new gun control laws in the wake of the las vegas massacre. well, today we look at how a story of changed its laws after a massacre 20 years ago. in april of 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in port arthur, tasmania, killing 35, and wounding 23 others. this is an australian television report on the incident from the day of the shooting. >> helicopters begin ferrying the injured from port arthur after a gunman opened fire there this afternoon. case froma gunman, 85 hobart. there are at least 12 confirmed that. have hostage, we situation. >> favorite with interstate and overseas tourists. it is understood those visitors and made up the bulk of those killed or wounded.
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locals near the site cringed in fear inside their shops and homes as the gunman opened fire. >> what you understand he may have done? >> killed some people. >> any idea why? >> no idea. >> in the idea who he was? >> no idea. but a local, i don't think. >> of any tourists been involved? >> they have been. >> it sounds awful. >> is recommend very awful. amy: that's a clip from a report in 1996 on the port arthur massacre in tasmania, australia, that left 35 people dead, 23 wounded. within 12 days of the attack, australia's conservative government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. there has not been another mass shooting in australia since. for more, we're joined via democracy now! video stream by rebecca peters, who led the campaign to reform australia's gun laws after the port arthur
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massacre. she is now an international arms control advocate and part of the international network on small arms. welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about what the comparisonn, to the u.s., the gun loving colter, the crocodile dundees. explain what happened after port arthur. >> it brings it all back listening to that clip. remember thatt to before port arthur, we had a , aboutof mass shootings one a year. and each time there was a lot of discussion, noise, grief, prayers, anger, thoughts about what to do. but our politicians were sort of frozen, afraid to take action to reform the gun laws. and even know there was plenty of expert advice, there had been
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committees, there were researchers -- it was very clear what needed to be done. what happened when port arthur occurred, the number of victims was so large and also the fact it was in a tourist location, actually, not to similar from what happened in las vegas. so people from all over the country were directly affected. and we had this new conservative government. the prime minister just said, this is it. we are done. we have been talking about this for years. it is time to take action. he negotiated with all the states to bring about the national firearms agreement based on what, in fact, our campaign has been calling for -- which was based on evidence, on research. and that is a scheme of gun laws across all of the states based on a system of licensing, which involved a background check for every gun sale -- in the background check is not just a
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question of have you already been to prison or not? we know most interpersonal violence in most domestic violence involves people who have not already been convicted of a crime will step of the purpose of a gun law is to prevent violence. we have universal background checks. we have registration of all firearms. and we have a ban on civilian possession of assault weapons, of military-style and nonmilitary-style, semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. those are guns that are created for killing large numbers of people. so those were banned. we had a huge fight back. and about one million guns were removed from australia. there were other elements as well. the main thing was from its national uniform was based on universal background checks, then on certain weapons, and a much more intelligent look at who is able to have guns.
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and the result has been a dramatic reduction in gun violence. juan: rebecca peters, i'm wondering subsequent to the passage of that legislation, has there been any fight back origins to dismantle it by the gun lobby in australia? obviously, after the assault weapons ban here in the 1990's during the clinton administration, there was a huge toort by the gun lobby whittle down and repeal the assault weapons ban. >> yes. in fact, in australia, where the gun lobby did after port arthur was it formed political parties. in fact, because of the electoral system in australia, the small political parties do have some power when they get into the state parliament. so the gun lobby now has people in some parliaments, specifically dedicated to trying to weaken our laws. there have been some erosion, but not -- but the basic standard remained. the erosions are things like,
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for example, making -- opening up national parks for hunting and things like that. but the basic set of gun laws later. 20 years amy: rebecca peters, respond to what happened in las vegas. talk about what you see could happen here. >> it is so heartbreaking. it is sickening and so frustrating. i have been on your show a couple of times after previous massacres. seeakes your heart sink to this happening again. around the world, everyone is grieving with u.s. and saying, please, do something about this. i suppose one of the most obvious things that we see from is it an ordinary citizen in the u.s. able to accumulate such an arsenal? and an arsenal of weapons of
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high-power, rapidfire come even before they were confirmed just conform to automatic capacity. that is the most obvious thing. building up an arsenal of weapons designed for killing lots of people is something that should not be allowed. the vast quantities of ammunition and obviously, the mechanism that seems to have permitted these semiautomatics to a lot of matter. mechanism that allow a semiautomatic to convert to fully automatic should also be banned. those are the most obvious things. also, many people around the world have asked me about how was he able to take all of those guns into a hotel? because in other countries, it is not normal for people to carry a bag of guns around with them without any kind of
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restriction. amy: rebekah, very quickly because we don't have much time, the immediate response -- this has been the response of the nra in massacre after massacre "don't talk about it right now." was sarah huckabee sanders saying, "maybe we should talk about it later." the horror dies down and they're not worried anymore. so talk about these beat with which it happened in australia will stop again, a country of 70 gun lovers, that was committed to allowing guns to australia. >> with any humanitarian or public health or criminal crisis , in the instant, you do need to talk about what to do to prevent it. about't politics to talk preventing people from being killed and injured. onof the great things that
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happen in australia was in that moment, both sides of politics said, this is not political. health and safety. they agreed to take a bipartisan approach. yeah, immediately on the first day, he was admittedly recognized by our politicians in australia that this needed re-done. within 12 days, the deal was done. it isn't politics. it is health and safety. there's no bigger kick in the gut to the families of the people injured and killed in these and also to the survivors of previous tragedies to hear that said "this is not the time." this is the time. this is absolutely the time. juan: quickly, also, how much of an outlier is the united states compared to other countries on this issue of not only gun control, but these math shootings? >> it is absolutely an outlier. if you look at every other industrialized country that has
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the rule of law, has implemented basic -- guns are not banned and other countries. but they are regulated. -- it is not any different from any other area of public policy. you have had to put in place legislation that response to the problem that you have. the evidence is in the data. the results are clear. no other country has this number hugess shootings or this rate of gun violence. it just seems like americans are paying an unnecessarily lethal price for the an action and the cowardice of their legislators. amy: rebecca peters, we want to thank you so much for being with us. international arms control advocate and part of the international network on small arms. she led the campaign to reform australia's gun laws after the port arthur massacre. the massacre saw 35 people killed and a score of people
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injured. this is democracy now! when we return, we will speak to bishop william barber. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: this again will gather in , hundreds raleigh for the north carolina naacp state convention, the last one that will be presided over by bishop william barber as president of the state conference. dr. reverend barber resigned from his post earlier this year to focus on his work with repairers of the breach and the launch of a poor people's campaign. in what he says is a national call for moral revival, barber is on a 15-state public event tour to address issues of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation, and spread north carolina's moral mondays movement nationwide.
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amy: the effort draws on the history and unfinished work of reverend dr. martin luther king jr.'s 1967-1968 poor people's campaign, which called for america to stand against what king called the triplets of evil -- systemic racism, poverty, and militarism. on tuesday here in new york, bishop barber was presented the andrew goodman foundation's hidden heroes award "for courageously defending the moral values of american democracy." he joins us now in our new york studio. it is great to have you here in studio for the first time, bishop barber. >> thank you so much. amy: there is a lot being made in the media right now about facebook and their russian ads. you had a very interesting response to that last night about who is manipulating the elections, who gets to vote, and who doesn't. concerned that while we should focus on the russian hacking, but that we are
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missing the greatest hacking of racialized voter suppression. let me give you some numbers. 868. that is the number of -- the sites in thevoting black and brown community in 2016. black, brown, and poor communities. 22. 22 states has voter suppression laws since 2010. that is where 44 senators were represented over nearly 50% of the united states house of representatives. and at least 16 or 17 seat in the senate probably would not be where they are partisan if it was not for voter suppression. days since the supreme court gutted section five of the voting rights act. strom thurmond only filibustered civil rights act of 1957 for one
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day. this congress on the mcconnell and run has filibustered for 1562 days. we talk about trump winning in wisconsin by 20 or 30,000 votes. there were 250,000 votes suppressed in wisconsin will stop in north carolina come over 150 fewer site during early voting. so it is amazing to me that we are having a conversation about russian hacking, but not having a conversation about racialized voter suppression -- which is systemic racism, which is a tool of white nationalism, which is a direct threat to our democracy. juan: when you say systemic, a really has almost become a science, voter suppression. how can you either gerrymandered districts, how can you systematically reduce the amount of people voting from those districts that you know are
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likely to vote against you and without actually talking about race, but actually having the same impact on reducing the voter of the black and brown community? >> it is interesting. do you have a black friend yet the systemic racism is what has thisned thus hampered country. we are the worst attacks on voting rights that we've seen since jim crow. in the state i was in, it took us six years. million topent $6 take people's voting rights. amy: were carolina. >> in north carolina. the robbers supreme court agreed theimously twice that gerrymandering in north carolina and the voter suppression, not photo id, but taking away same-day registration, was systemic voter suppression. interestingly enough, trump and the two senators from north carolina are trying to put a guy on thename of farr
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federal court. farr is the attorney who led the fight for voter suppression and supported jesse hamm and all of his racial tactics. we have to have a very serious conversation about what systemic racism is. we have 34 states now with potentially voter suppression laws. we're talking about over 54% of african americans, talking about how it will impact brown and poor white people. that is the hacking that we must address. in any other country, we would be up in arms about that. even if they were moral, not a assembly violent. the people stealing elections through voters suppression. and all of this was systematic in the way in which part of what helped trump and ryan and others get into office. juan: yet the president names a commission to investigate voter fraud. >> which is fraud in and of
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itself. the same line they said in north carolina was the reason they intentional racist voter suppression law. they said they were trying to protect citizens from fraud. i want to emphasize the roberts thomas, thosee all voted unanimously to say "this was not just despair treatment, it was intentional racism and intentional racist gerrymandering." we have to deal with that. what they know without intentional racism and intentional gerrymandering, you could begin to see the truth in the south. if you register 30% of african-american unregistered in the south and connect them with progressive whites and latinos, north carolina, georgia, mississippi, possibly south carolina could flip. if those flip and those change, then the whole body politics shift. so the end of the southern
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strategy is right at hand. it we have to deal with systemic voter suppression. trump and rhino mcconnell and those allies are continuing to try to push the issue away and that focusamy: is it just repub? i can say what we started in north carolina, we edify past send ar the registration and early voting. here's the concern i have. we had 26 presidential election debates on both sides of the political aisle. not one hour on voter suppression. not one. not one hour -- excuse me, and restoring the voting rights. and not one hour to systemic racism in all of those debates. i was looking at a report the other day that said -- it showed the terrible lack of focus on issues, even with the corporate media. there were more conversations about tweets and innuendos and women than there were on the issues. , as it isic racism
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looked at through voter suppression, if you put up a map and every state that has -- had the voters suppression also had denied medicatio medicaid. the worstome of attacks on the lgbt community. if you know a state suppressing the vote, you can only say that state is also against living wage. many politicians in power that are against progressive ideas. amy: how often was poverty raised? >> none. if the republicans raised it, like a second extremis that hijacked the republican party basically say poverty is the cause of personal failure. and what we really need is tax cuts for the wealthy. democrats too often say those trying to make their way into the middle class. poverty, 159 people in poverty, and we don't have one hour of discussion on poverty?
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400 families making $97,000 an hour and we're locking people up who simply want 15 in the union? that is a moral travesty. juan: i'm wondering if you could talk about your decision to resign as the work carolina head of the naacp to focus more and the poor people, on a new poor people's campaign? withwas invited to join dr. harris, codirector at the seminary. we are cochairing the poor people's campaign. we believe we need a systemic -- sustained moral push back that challenges the immoral public policy direction with the moral vision. i like to call it restoring moral dissent, moral dreams and moral defibrillation of this nation. we have to go at the heart. and not just one rally or you know, but a sustained movement. we need to focus on systemic racism, poverty, ecological
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devastation, and the war economy. and our whole moral narrative. it is amazing to me that we are not dealing with these issues -- health care, poverty, racism, as moral issues, not democrat or republican, left versus right. we have begun a 15 state tour organizing because it has to be from the bottom up. it has to be like, white, and brown, native and young and old and peoplestraight from appalachia and also people from the urban areas. and that is happening. it is happening. people are engaging. it has to include nonviolent, but not nonconfrontational civil disobedience. we are planning, i won't say it is all this morning because we have a big announcement, but 25 states, the district of columbia. people are coming together for a sustained period of time over 40 days to change the moral
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narrative in this country. it must happen. otherwise, we're just good to have trump-itis and think if we remove trump it is over, when there is not of the difference between him and many other people who are extremists or we will just keep going down the same talking notes. we have to energize this over some people say over 120 to 150 four and working poor people and show them the intersection analogy of what they face. lastly, it is got to be rooted in indigenous leadership. it has to be sustained. it has to be where we energize everybody. we have to make sure that we understand -- we're talking about the very soul and heart of this nation. if we don't deal with systemic racism and systemic poverty, ecological devastation, we're not going to be dealing with violence. i know right now we're talking
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about violence, gun violence. and we should be. and it shouldn't be politicized. it should be a moral issue. but 250,000 people die every year from poverty. for every 500,000 people the diet medicaid expansion, 25 to 2800 people die. people are dying from immoral violent public policy. juan: i was in a barbershop yesterday getting a haircut. while i am waiting my turn, there was a raging argument between these other men waiting to get their hair cut over this kneelingthe athletes and the trump attack on the nfl players for kneeling for justice. i'm wondering your reaction? this is in the heartland of america where all of these football plans -- fans are crazy of the nfl, this is a major topic of conversation as to what these athletes are doing. i'm wondering your reaction to the president's attack on them and their actions because they're all multimillionaire ballplayers?
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>> president trump has consistently used racial code do -- i dossues believe he is a deeply was a promised synthesizer at best -- white supremacist supervisor at best. first of all, let's talk about race. we have to be careful not to just talk about race in terms of personal. a few weeks ago we had the march, the statues, white nationalists in charlottesville. that statue was put up in 1917 to celebrate woodrow wilson a white supremacist who played birth of a nation being in office. that statue was put up to celebrate. -- celebrate we have a white supremacist in the white house. what are they saying at goats secondly, white nationalism is not about just "i don't like you because you are black." it is about policy. the policies.t
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their anti-immigrant. he voting against immigrants? their anti-dust probe voter suppression. for voter suppression? their anti-health care for everybody, anti-gay. where do you stand on the policy issues because you can be an accessory to the crime of white nationalism. now, the president is trying to change the issue. knelt becauseck he was saying the nation's that living up to its promise, one nation under god, liberty, justice for all because african-american men, unarmed, are being shot, and women, industry by people's one to protect and serve. .r. king the old -- k neel is a religious person, i kneel. it is a sacred position. such to suggest somehow when you kneel your disrespecting any thing is actually kind are dust counter intuitive. it should be applauded. kneeling is very sacred. especially when you're kneeling
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to say, i love the country enough to criticize. that is what dr. king set when he knelt. i don't hate america, i love america, but love requires challenge, moral dissent. love requires calling the nation into order. it is not blind allegiance. so i think that trump wants to switch the issue. what i hope is that all of the players there hooking up now and kneeling will also engage in voter registration, will also engage in the democracy, will also engage in challenging other policies. and go after leave it there. we will post part two. online. bishop william barber president , and senior lecturer of repairers of the breach. he's the leader of moral mondays and the author of "third reconstruction: moral mondays, fusion politics, and the rise of a new justice movement." happy birthday to becca staley! juan mears speaking thursday night at san francisco state and city lights bookstore later that night in berkeley. that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who
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