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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  November 7, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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11/07/17 11/07/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> there are many ways he could have taking care of the mother-in-law without coming with 50 loaded magazines and an assault rifle to a church. i think he came here with the purpose and a mission. amy: the 26-year-old white man named devin patrick kelley who killed 26 people sunday as they attended church in sutherland springs, texas, had a history of domestic violence. he was court-martialed on charges he repeatedly hit his wife and attacked his baby stepson. after he was kicked out of the air force, officials failed to report his crimes to a federal database. kelley had no problem buying the
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gun he used on sunday. >> i know there are a lot of questions about the fbi system and how the person got the weapons. i continue for the four purchases he made, they did the required checks in the was no prohibited information in the systems that we checked to show he could not have purchased that firearm. amy: we will take a look at the link between mass shootings and domestic violence with soraya .hemaly and with mariame kaba then best-selling chilean writer isabel allende has a new novel out called "in the midst of winter." the final mention of any work of literature is to connect people and the make us understand how other people feel, what other people want. if i could achieve that in the
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year of trump, i've done a lot, actually. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. new details have emerged about sunday's mass shooting at the first baptist church in sutherland springs, texas, which killed 26 people, including children, elderly, a pregnant woman. the suspected shooter was a 26-year-old white man named devin patrick kelley from new braunfels, texas. kelley enlisted in the u.s. air force in 2010. in 2012, he was court-martialed on charges he repeatedly hit, and choked-- kicked, his wife, pointed a loaded gun at her, and attacked his stepson with such force that it broke the toddler's skull. kelley was confined for a year and then thrown out of the air force with a bad conduct discharge in 2014. but on monday, the air force
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admitted it had failed to report kelley's domestic violence court-martial to a federal database, meaning kelley had no problem buying a ruger ar-556 assault-style rifle at an academy sports and outdoors store in san antonio, texas, in 2016. he reportedly used this gun to massacre the 26 people on sunday. on monday, authorities also said kelley appears to have carried out the massacre because of a domestic dispute he had with his mother-in-law, who was a member of the first baptist church but was not present on sunday. he apparently killed his grandmother in law. this is a spokesman for the texas department of public safety. >> one thing everyone wants to know is, why did this happen? it is a senseless crime. we can tell you there was a domestic situation within this family. the suspects mother-in-law attended this church. we know he had made threatening
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-- she had received threatening text from him. we can't go to detail about the domestic situation that is continuing to be vetted and thoroughly investigated. but we want to get that out there that this was not racially motivated. over religious beliefs. there was a domestic situation going on within the family. amy: on monday, seven activists from the group gays against guns were arrested during aie-in protest on capitol hill to demand stricter gun control. we'll have more on sunday's shooting massacre after headlines. president trump met with japanese prime minister shinzo abe and took gill on monday, where trump pressured abe to buy billions of dollars of u.s. manufactured weapons. this comes amid escalating tensions on the korean peninsula, which have been largely sparked and intensified by president trump himself, who has threatened repeatedly to annihilate the entire nation of north korea. later on monday, during a visit to seoul, south korea, trump
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struck a slightly more diplomatic tone, talking of a potential deal with north korea, although he did reiterated that the u.s. is prepared to use military action. hundreds of south koreans protested president trump's visit on monday. the united nations said monday that 2017 will be among the hottest years on record, making the announcement as nearly 200 countries gathered in bonn, germany, for the beginning of this year's un climate talks. this is the u.n. secretary-general -- or the secretary-general of the world meteorological organization, petteri taalas. >> the implementation of the paris agreement could face out of this. if not, this trend will continue. even for thousands of years. so the lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is very long. thisis why we have to turn
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in the coming decades to be able to see this phaseout. that is why these cop meetings are so important the moment. amy: commerce secretary wilbur ross is attempting to defend himself after a trove of 13.4 million leaked documents, known as the paradise papers, revealed he continued to conduct business with vladimir putin's son-in-law through a shipping company, even after ross became trump's commerce secretary. thenr client is up was not sanctioned, is not now sanctioned, and never was sanctioned in between. so there's nothing whatsoever improper about navigator having a relationship with cyborg. i don't know any of those individuals. i've never met them. certainly not had any commercial dealings with them. amy: apple is also under fire after the paradise papers
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revealed aggressive tax evasion by the corporation has allowed it to evade paying taxes on hundreds of billions of dollars. the paradise papers also implicate more than a dozen of president trump's cabinet members, advisers, major donors, as well as the queen of england 's estate, and the companies nike, facebook, and twitter. tensions are escalating sharply between saudi arabia and iran after houthi rebels in yemen launched a ballistic missile toward the saudi capital, riyadh, over the weekend. on monday, saudi arabia said the missile launch constituted an act of war by iran. the saudis accuse iran of backing yemen's houthi rebels. saudi arabia's accusation escalates the possibility of a direct military confrontation between the two regional powers. this comes as at least 11 top saudi elites and officials were arrested in a widening crackdown aimed at consolidating the power of crown prince, mohammed bin salman, who has been presiding over the u.s.-backed saudi-led war in yemen. back in the united states, as part of the trump administration's
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anti-immigration crackdown, the federal government has announced it's ending the temporary protected status of thousands of nicaraguan immigrants, many of whom have been living in the united states for decades. their special immigration status will now expire on january 5, 2019. the trump administration has delayed ruling on whether to also eliminate the temporary protected status of more than 57,000 hondurans. in new york city, two police officers have quit the new york police department after they were charged with rape, kidnapping, and official misconduct. prosecutors say former nypd detectives edward martins and richard hall arrested an 18-year-old woman after stopping her car and finding a small amount of marijuana and a few anti-anxiety pills in her purse. the plainclothes officers then handcuffed her and put her in the back of the police van. prosecutors say officer martins then sat down in backseat next to her, tightened her handcuffs, forced the teenager to give him oral sex, and then pulled her pants off and raped her while she cried and begged him to
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stop. prosecutors say detective hall watched his partner rape the teenager, then switched places with him and also forced her to perform oral sex on him. prosecutors say the officers then drove the teenager back to coney island, forced her to take one of her anti-anxiety pills, instructed her to keep her mouth shut, and left her on the side of the road near a police precinct. testing shows the dna of both officers was found on the teenager. the former police officers are claiming the acts were consensual as their defense. meanwhile, new york police officer wayne isaacs has been found not guilty on charges of murdering delrawn small in 2016. small, who is african-american, was driving with his girlfriend and two children on the when the fourth of july off-duty officer cut him off. grainy, black-and-white surveillance video shows small, who was unarmed, approaching officer isaacs' car. officer isaacs then opens fire with his police gun within one second. as small stumbles away and collapses on the street between
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two parked cars, officer isaacs then gets out of his car, appears to tuck his gun into his waistband, and walks away. in response to the not guilty verdict, the family of delrawn small said they are devastated and outraged, saying -- "what wayne isaacs did that night -- immediately shooting and killing our brother as he approached his car and leaving him to bleed out and die, when he had so many oth options -- was murder, in cold blood." in new york city, more than one -- people protested against 100 billionaire joe ricketts' decision to shut down the news outlets gothamist and dnainfo one week after the newsrooms voted to unionize. >> i have been a gothamist for 2.5 years. the unit was 27 reporters and a few editors and we voted for the union 25-2. i think it is important to clarify we had not issued a single demand when this shutdown happen. i think there was a lot of
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effort on behalf of management to be, oh, because you are to unionize, we want to bankrupt the company. amy: some of the fired journalists have also launched a new media outlet: gothamist in exile, where they have already begun covering important local news stories, including today's elections and the acquittal of nypd officer wayne isaacs on charges of murdering delrawn small. and today is election day in the united states. people are heading to the polls to vote for mayors, ballot initiatives, special state senate elections, and two governors races. the two republican gubernatorial candidates -- ed gillespie of virginia and kim guadagno in new jersey -- have both openly embraced president trump and are running on xenophobic anti-immigrant platforms. their democratic challengers, ralph northam in virginia and phil murphy in new jersey, are running on anti-trump platforms. in seattle, washington special , a state senate election has broken state spending records, as millions of dollars have poured into the race between democratic candidate manka dhingra and republican candidate jinyoung englund. if the democrats win, they will flip the state senate and take
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control the entire washington state government. there are significant mayoral races in atlanta, boston, charlotte, minneapolis, new orleans, pittsburgh, seattle, and new york city, where democratic mayor bill de blasio is facing off against republican candidate nicole malliotakis, an independent candidate bo dietl. there are also a number of key ballot initiatives. in maine, voters will decide whether to expand medicaid over the opposition of the maine governor paul lepage. in ohio, voters will decide whether to buck the pharmaceutical industry and force a reduction in the price of prescription drugs. and in new york, voters will decide whether to hold a constitutional convention to rewrite the state constitution. 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 country and around the world. we begin today's show in sutherland springs, texas, where on sunday morning an alleged shooter with a history of domestic violence fired 450 rounds at worshipers, killing 26
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of them, including children, elderly people, and a pregnant woman, and wounding 20 more. this is survivor rosanne solis describing the attack. >> i could see him. i was hiding under the benches. i could see his feet walking back and forth through the aisles. i did not want to get shot. i don't know what to think anymore. this world is full of so much anger. juan: the suspected shooter was a 26-year-old white man named devin patrick kelley from new braunfels, texas. investigators say he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by bystanders, one of whom was armed. well, on monday, air force officials admitted they had failed to share information about kelley's criminal history with a u.s. law enforcement database that should have blocked him from buying a gun in the united states. kelley was stationed at holloman air force base in new mexico when he was convicted in 2012 by
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a court-martial on two charges of domestic assault after he repeatedly hit, kicked, and choked his wife, and allegedly threatened her multiple times with loaded and unloaded firearms. he also pleaded guilty to hitting their 18-month-old stepson with such force that it broke the toddler's skull. kelley was imprisoned for a year and then thrown out of the air force with a bad conduct discharge in 2014. the charges should have been prohibited him from buying or owning firearms. but the holloman air force base office of special investigations reportedly failed to enter kelley's domestic conviction into the national background check system used by gun sellers. police say kelley went on to buy at least four guns, including the ruger ar-556 assault-style rifle he reportedly used to massacre 26 people on sunday. this is fbi agent christopher combs. >> i know there a lot of questions about the fbi system and how to the pursing at the
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weapons. i can tie you that for the four purchases he made, the system did the required checks and there was no prohibited information in the system that we checked that said he could not have purchased that firearm. the three checks that are -- and all three databases, there was not information that we would have said was prohibitive for that man to get the firearm. amy: on monday, authorities also said kelley appears to have carried out the massacre because of a domestic dispute he had with his mother-in-law, who was a member of the first baptist church but was not present on sunday. he apparently did kill his grandmother in law. this is a spokesman for the texas department of public safety. >> one thing everybody wants to know is, why did this happen? but we senseless crime, can say there was a domestic situation within his family. mother-in-law
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attended the church. we know he had made threatening -- she had received threatening texts from him. we can't go into details about that domestic situation that is continuing to be vetted and thoroughly investigated, but we wanted to get that out there that this was not racially motivated. it wasn't over religious believes. there was a domestic situation going on within the family. amy: for more on the link between domestic violence and mass shootings, we go to baltimore where we're joined by journalist soraya chemaly, who covers the intersection of gender and politics. director of the women's media center speech project. we welcome you to democracy now! can you start off by talking about this connection? i mean, more than half the mass killings over the last nine years are committed by people who engaged in domestic violence that we know of before. and then the whole issue of exactly what happened with this
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ex-air force soldier on the skull ofcturing the his 18-month-old stepson, repeatedly abusing, threatening his wife, confined to the base for a year, then there is no record of this so he can buy guns legally? we see this pattern over and over again, which is -- one in which the incidence of domestic violence is minimized or trivialized in some way. meritnsidered enough to ortained public attention the allocation of resources so that we can really understand the dynamic. we really do know there is no doubt, that the practice of violence within a home in an intimate setting with people that their radically the aggressor loves, opens the
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violence. to public amy: we're going to interrupt because there's something wrong with your microphone and we're going to get that fixed. we want to bring in our second guest, mariame kaba, an organizer and educator who has worked on anti-domestic violence programs, as well as anti-incarceration and racial justice programs, since the late 1980's. she is "survived and punished," an organization that supports survivors of violence who have been criminalized for defending themselves. she is on the board of critical resistance and helped found the chicago group we charge genocide, anwas a member of incite! women of color against violence. it is great to have you with us. in chicago for 70 decades, there grew up here in new york. your response to what took place on sunday? >> first, sadness. it is devastating that there is been another loss of so many lives. muchels it s pretty
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preventable. it could've been prevented. 's oh enormous amounts of sadness. it also not surprised. byknow so many are killed intimate partners and guns are usually at the root of that, often as she was saying before, the home is a practice ground often for the violence that then becomes public violence. we really do take -- 10 to minimize private violence and focus on a spectacular examples of public violence. but if we don't address that private violence, then we're or to continue to the public violence and the ways that we have. juan: and youresponse to this oversight that the military is claiming that they failed to report this history of kelley's to the national database? >> i think that points to the fact it is really, really difficult to track people and attract guns in this country in a purchases of guns.
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i'm not suppress the military to dot able to continue with any didgeridoo, which is report yet his conviction. it is huge bureaucracy. things fall through the cracks all the time. it is unfortunate but not surprising. amy: soraya chemaly, you have cover this issue of domestic violence and domestic violence in the military and how seriously this is taken. so if you can go through the steps and explain how it is factble that not only the to was convicted on the base, but he was confined on the base for a year and then there is no record and what this means in general. >> i think that, clearly, within the context of his being confined, with his been convicted -- he admitted he a .one this what he did within his own family was taken seriously. but in the larger context of how
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domestic violence or other forms of gender violence are treated in the military, i think there is a clear issue. even if you think about the language of how he was discharged, he was discharged for been conduct. it sounds as if high school student misbehaved. there are different categories of discharge based on severity of the crime at hand or the behavior that led to the discharge. if you look at sexual violence in the military, perpetrators of sexual violence or discharged honorably far more than victims of sexual violence. victims are much more likely to be discharged involuntarily, to leave the service with a type of discharge that actually is, in some ways, more harmful when they return to civilian life than not. that is not the case with alleged perpetrators. there is this bigger question
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of how we treat private violence, sexual violence, how we think about gendered violence. the public-private divide where we are working with does us a real disservice because we tend to aggregate this private terrorisc violence in a way that seems irrelevant publicly. if you think of the fact there are three women a day in the u.s. killed by an intimate partner, if that happened in one incident and we were talking about between 20 and 25 women only being killed in one incident, people might sit up and pay attention. but it is happening and the slow drip, trip, trip that we never really hear about. amy: three women a day are killed by their intimate partners? >> three women a day are killed in the united states by intimate partners. the: i want to ask about culture of the military. what is it in terms of your sense of what happens within the military that so many folks who
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come out of the military end up then involved in some of these violent incidents afterwards, especially those who are involved with domestic violence while they were in the military? >> one, the military is an organization of hierarchy, andoritarianism, power control. a lot of those dynamics are implicit in intimate partner violence. the military regulates violence. people have a place. they have a role. they have a reporting structure. and so the structure of the military itself is kind of a very intense microcosm of a mindset that we see over and over again within homes, within homes especially where there is violence that is being enacted in these ways. the second thing is, the military is filled with people who have incredibly stressful jobs. who are traumatized them selves by violence.
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and until we deal with what that means for those people themselves, i think we really -- we can't really focus in on why they are acting out in these ways when they leave the service. so there are very high incidence not only in the military, but also in our police forces. policing families have high rates of domestic violence. those numbers are sort of hard cases,re, but in some estimates are that the rates of domestic violence among the police is two to four times the national average. we can't really separate those colters regulative violence from the unregulated violence that we see in the home. juan: i would ask in terms of the general society, we have heard about some attacks that are labeled as terrorist attacks. this immediately is a mass killing, but are immediately told it is the result of the domestic problem.
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somehow that is supposed to make it less terroristic to the people, to the general public and to the folks involved. your sense of how society treats these mass killings, especially those coming out of folks involved in domestic abuse? >> sure. i think part of what we have to talk about is the fact that one of the main tricks i think of white supremacy is that it es and tries to focus on individual forms of violence. when we see a situation where for the most part the people who are doing mass killings are mostly young white and, the story gets told it is acceptable, normal form of violence. when people of color and others commit forms of violence, we are told and taught to see that as somehow outside of the norm of general kinds of violence and we tend to testif --
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catastrophize it. we a press groups that are very much already targeted. i think that is a big aspect of this that we're to look at but you can't look at these mass shootings without understanding also the ways in which violence is the glue that holds forms of oppression in place. one of those forms of oppression is white supremacist forms of violence. shawn king tweeted -- john "don't worry everybody, it was a white man who slaughtered half of the church in texas. that means everything is just fine. no terrorism." >> that is the point i'm making. i think we get too caught up in trying to label forms of violence as terrorism. that has atate label specific focus and intent behind it that leads to catastrophic consequences for the communities that are further criminalized. i would like us to do the thing we need to do, which is that the inability to end violence against women and children is at
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the root of these forms of gun violence and mass shootings. let's focus on trying to end those other forms of violence. juan: in the political climate we have today where clearly nothing is going to happen at the national level on this issue of guns, what do you see as the role that people concerned about this issue must take? >> i think we're going to have to look -- a much more eative. of gunto be skeptical control in general. i see it often as a way to criminalize community's of color further. but there are things people are offering like disarming domestic abusers, which would mean we have to disarm a lot of people in the military and the police structure as well. we should also look at personal liability. we should look at the things that could happen at the state level that might help reduce the number of people who are harmed and killed by gun violence. as president trump is in japan, he was there on sunday,
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he admittedly responded as he was pushing billions of dollars of weapons to the japanese government. onemmediately responded -- "this is not the time to talk about than control." and yet what happened in new york happened just a few days ago, he immediately talked about dropping the special immigration program. i wanted to court for maker michael moore who tweeted monday -- "as of yesterday, columbine is no longer one of the 10 worst mass shootings in u.s. history. three of the top five are all in the last year and a half. so this issue of solutions that soraya chemalyd, , i think if you ask most people after the las vegas killing mane this white 64-year-old gunned down 59 people, injured
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when paddock did this, there was this discussion of , what illegal bump stocks makes it possible for a semiautomatic weapon to shoot as an automatic weapon. i think most people in this country think they were made illegal immediately. even the nra said they would be ok with that, though they wanted it to be a role not put a by congress because then it could be turned around pretty quickly. it even that did not happen, though they are now saying that they will look at that given this latest massacre. i think there is no doubt that we don't have the political will in congress to pass even the most basic forms of legislation. i want to go back to something that mariame said.
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the way white supremacy works. there's a particular issue with gun control in terms of risk perception and risk assessment. this is a long studied phenomenon. in the u.s., it is called the white male effect. the it is related to is different ways in which people assess risk based on threats to their own identity. so when you look at congress and the way it approaches questions like climate change, andronmental degradation, control, abortion, what you end up with in terms of policy is a very distorted sense of what the risks are, with the costs are, directly related to our lack of diversity, inclusive and he, and to the very real representation or misrepresentation of the population at large because we have a commerce that is over 80% white and over 80% male. show years of studies
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conservative white men are outliers in terms of risk assessment. and the ways in which the rest of us might look at problems in society are different for them. realize the ways in which politically we're represented matter deeply to the resolution of these problems. in terms of gun control, it just doesn't strike this group of people that are leading our country as dangerous or as risky as it does for the people who are being killed and hurt and penalized on a daily basis. and i think we need to speak directly to that as a function of who our leaders are and why it is important to vote and why it is important to understand that we need much, much, much more robustly diverse
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representation in all stages of government so we don't have these kinds of outlier risk assessments that are truly debilitating to us as a society. amy: as we begin to wrap up, you heard the headlines, the two police officers who have now quit, the allegations they rate this young woman who the handcuffed and brought into their car. you have worked on the issues of police brutality in chicago, now in new york. can you talk about this? >> i think one of the issues that becomes really clear when we widen our lens to include particularly young people and in police violence, we see a lot of sexual violence being ofe against people as a way controlling them and also kind of continuing that threat that if you go forward and you let anybody know this happened, we're going to come after you. so the forms of violence become much broader.
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you then see that is possible. and genderen nonconforming people have complained over the years of police sexual violence. it is probably more people are harmed that way than are killed the police everything will year. and yet we hardly ever include that within the larger discussion around police violence. we have to. a new book "invisible no more" that just came out a couple months ago addresses violence against black women and women of color as well as gender nonconforming people. i suggest people interested in these topics read it. i happen to have written the forward for that book. i have to put that out there. i think we have to look at these issues, the inherent violence of policing and i think people don't want to do that. i think people are constantly focused on small little fixes -- that he comes at things like that. that is not going to stop sexual violence by police officers. the last thing i would to say about this, i saw yesterday on
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twitter an amazing piece where a woman talked about for several tweets that gender violence genderedd -- and violence is an evident in and of itself. it is not a warning sign of future violence. the conversation being had right now troubles me because i don't think we're going to get to a solution unless we treat domestic and sexual violence as mass violence in and of itself and that we address those head-on and make sure we understand there constituted of other forms of violence and oppression. we have got to get at the root or we will not solve this problem. amy: it is interesting police officers understand when they go into a domestic violence situation, it is the most dangerous situation for them. at the same time, sadly, police officers have a higher rate of domestic violence in their own families. >> exactly right. two to four times more likely than the general public of being
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perpetrators of domestic violence, police officers are. and the people in the military as well. but we should not be shocked. those are forms of violence in and of themselves. policing is, the military, the warmaking. violence is learned, right? in this context, of course, people exposed to violence all the times will use it. it attracts people particularly interested in being able to practice forms of violence at home that they then take out into the public sphere. and here we are. amy: we want to thank you both for joining us, mariame kaba, organizer and educator who has worked on anti-domestic violence programs for decades as well as as anti-incarceration and racial justice programs since the late 1980's. soraya chemaly is a journalist who covers the intersection of gender and politics. we willing to your work director of the women's media , center speech project. when we come back, the great writer isabel allende has a new book called "in the midst of
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winter." we will talk to her about her book and writing and the era of trump as she came to this country from, well, throughout latin america in chile where she grew up. we will talk about how she responded to the coming authoritarianism of the pinochet regime and also public neruda, the latest investigation of how he died soon after another september 11, september 11, 1973. what happened to the great chilean poet. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: today marks the one of the anniversary of the revolution in
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russia. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we spend the rest of the hour with isabel allende, one of latin america's and the united states' greatest novelists. she's the author of 23 books, including "the house of the spirits," "paula," and "daughter of fortune." her latest is a novel titled, "in the midst of winter," a love story that still manages to explore the issues of human rights and the plight of immigrants and refugees. her books have been translated into 35 languages, sold over 57 million copies around the world. isabel allende now lives in california. she was born, though, in peru in 1942 and traveled the world as the daughter of a chilean diplomat. her father's first cousin was salvador allende, chile's president from 1970 until september 11, 1973, when augusto pinochet seized power in a cia-backed military coup. salavador allende died in the palace that day. isabel allende would later flee from her native chile to
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venezuela. amy: chile's museum of memory and human rights recently opened a new exhibit documenting the united states' intervention in the coup. "secrets of the state: the declassified history of the chilean dictatorship" features declassified documents from the u.s. central intelligence agency, national security council, federal bureau of investigation, white house, and state department. this is the museum director javier estevez. these documents speak of everything that was the cia operation and its moment in 1970 the knowledge of nixon and henry kissinger to keep allende from assuming the presidency of the republic. this is a drama. it touched the whole world. you cannot understand how a country like the united states participated so openly in a military coup like the one that happened in chile. amy: we're joined by isabel
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allende in our studio. it is great to have you back with us. looks always great to be here, amy. amy: we're a lot to talk about. you have a new book out that actually is based in new york, in brookn, to be exact. the we also wanted to talk since we have not spoken on the show since president trump came to power, actually wanted to start not in the u.s., but in chile. you are in chile in 1973. describe what happened and how you saw your country change. -- in the continent. president a socialist represented a coalition of parties of the left and the center, salvador allende. immediately, the cia and the forces of the right in my country, tried to stop him from becoming the president.
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eventually, that was impossible and he assumed the presidency in 1970. in the next three years were years of political khera social, and economic crisis in chile because the government was sabotaged by the right and by foreign forces as well as to the cia intervened and allende denounced the many times. nobody believed it because it was like the story of the bad wolf. blamed foralways everything. the worst thing you could say to any latin american is, oh, he is an agent of the cia. that is the worst insult. a on september 11 come also tuesday, 1973, we had been hearing that there could be a coup, but we did not know what that was. we never had that. we woke up to the sound of
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helicopters and airplanes and tanks in the streets. people who did not have time to hear the news did not stay home, so there were workers in the streets waiting for buses that never came. andied to get to my office the office was closed. amy: what review doing then? >> i was a journalist. the building was locked. empty exceptere for the military tanks and trucks. it was justat day, rumors. we did not know what was going on. but i saw the bombing of the presidential palace. i could not believe it. it is as if the armed forces and the united states would bomb the white house. it was something that was hardly imagine. and then in a matter of 24 hours, the congress was dismissed, all political parties were declared illegal, there was
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no free press, no public abedi and -- opinion. all forms of communication and gathering except the catholic church were banned. it played an important role in defending the people who were victims of repression. everybody in chile, me included, thought this was a sort of historical accident. in a couple of weeks maybe, the military would call elections and we would go back to democracy. in the minds of everybody was the idea that the president possibly, a christian democrat and a very conservative man. and that would probably be the option. and so your cousin had died in the coup? >> yes. that is something in the air. that was not the plane of the
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military. they had done this to be in power. for 17ayed in power years. the first few years were brutal repression. then the repression became muc more targeted. so it wasn't as if anybody just could be arrested in the office as it was in the beginning or in the street or at home. it was very targeted. i then, i was out. i have left my country. that is what happened. afteronly much later that pinochet left that we have democracy, that all of these information about how things happened has come up. juan: and still information is coming out. the news recently about pablo neruda, probably the most famous of that point, the most famous chilean in the world, in terms of the findings that the nobel laureate did not die of cancer in 1973 as stated on his death certificate, and i just a couple of weeks after the coup.
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in bolstering claims that he was poisoned under general condition's role in the driver claimed he was poisoned by stomach injection administered by doctors. one of nobel prize in 71. a close friend of the mr. president allende, but now forensic experts say they will need up to a year to determine the true cause of his death. what is your reaction to this? >> one of the reasons to suspect killeduse in order was in a very mysterious way. he went to the same clinic and suddenously died of a after minorof -- surgery. now it has been proven he was poisoned. the suspicion is the same happened to pablo neruda. if pablo neruda had lived, he would have gone into exile the same day of the coup.
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every country in the world was offering asylum to pablo neruda. telegrams were coming from everywhere offering to take him out of the country and give him a home somewhere else. so he would have been a was against the dictatorship, against the military. it is very possible that they decided to eliminate him as a limited of people here in washington as well. assassinations and washington. amy: in 1976. >> in 1970 six. that is a possibility, but it has not been proven so i can't really talk about it. i don't know anything more than you do. amy: can you talk about the significance of who pablo neruda was? >> pablo neruda was our national poet. to give you an idea of the was a of his poetry, he candidate for the presidency right before allende -- we don't
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have primaries in chile. at the time, the idea was allende had been a candidate in previous elections and he was cursed. he was never going to be president. he would make the joke in his gym it would say "here lies the future president of chile." so it was a joke, really. they decided to have pablo neruda is a candidate for the left because he was known everywhere. in aaveled the country train. the train would stop in stations. people would gather. the people would recite back to him his poetry in a choir. this was coal miners, fishermen, workers in the country. the impact he amy: were you at his funeral? >> of course. very few people could go because
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september 22,k on 11 days after the coup. -- he from his party belonged to the communist party. people from the left, france, intellectuals, journalists are either arrested or hiding somewhere and it was hard to show up. but i went. i remember that the ambassador of sweden was there. a very tall man, and a long black coat. i just stood behind him, holding on to his coat. i thought, no one is going to shoot him. machinere soldiers with guns along the road all the way to the cemetery. the beginning, the procession was in silence. there were workers in the construction building an official russian worker shouted
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responded.yone and then someone else shouted -- and we all shouted -- so the funeral of the point became sort of a symbolic funeral of democracy. amy: we're going to go to break and then come back to talk about your latest book "in the midst of winter." our guest is the great writer isabel allende. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "thanks to life." , theuest is isabel allende great at selling chilean writer, one of latin america's most renowned novelistss, as well as novelist in the united states.
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her latest book is called "in the midst of winter." let's turn to a passage from the book. when isabel describes the working relationship that evelyn ortega, the young undocumented immigrant from guatemala, has with her employers, the leroys. juan: allende writes -- "evelyn did not have fixed hours in their house: she in theory worked from nine to five, but in practice spent the whole day with the child she was looking after and even slept next to him so that she could attend to him if need be. in other words, she worked the equivalent of three normal shifts. according to richard and lucia's calculations, she was paid much less in cash than she was entitled to. to them it seemed like forced labor or slavery, but this did not matter to evelyn. more important was that she had somewhere to live and was safe." that is from her new novel "in the midst of winter." you bring together these characters, one from guatemala, undocumented from guatemala, one
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from brazil although the family originally from europe, and one from chile, lucia. >> unlikely characters that are stuck in a dangerous situation during a snowstorm in brooklyn. days.or three it is a very contained a story. it then i have flashbacks to the stories of each one of them. each one of them traumatized by things of the past. in the case of lucia, by the political events in the country in chile in the 1970's. in the case of evelyn ortega, the guatemalan undocumented refugee, because she is escaping from the gangs and the horrible situation in her country also guatemala, hundreds, and el salvador are the trying all of the north. the places in the world that are not at war with their's most violence, more ballots than
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anywhere else. and people are escaping from the narco's, the gangs, corruption, poverty, inefficient government. her lifes escaping for because she is a victim of the gangs. in the case of richard, the american professor at nyu who is a perfectly safe life, vegan, has four cap, it seems nothing can happen to him will stop yes or has a bad past that haunts him. there is a quote at the beginning of the book that gives title to the book and it says "in the midst of winter, i finally found an invincible summer." that is the whole point of the book. i think it is timely because we all go through winters in our lives. sometimes very long winters. i have to remember there is an invincible summer waiting to
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emerge. sometimes that happens to nations, to countries. to the world. i was born in one of the longest winters in the middle of the second world war. i have seen in my life many moments of great crisis in which it seemed the world was never going to recover from what was happening, but it does. i and their optimistic. so many people in this country are feeling we are in a political winter that might last for years. and if we are unlucky, maybe eight. we have to remember that under the surface, the summer is there. there are forces that will make it happen. struck,as particularly there is one scene and i don't want to give away because i want people to read it, but when the coyote who is bringing evelyn from guatemala to mexico, alberto says, brings all of
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these people who he is cutting across the border to pray. he says "we are pilgrims in a church without borders." just the image of a coyote gathered together with everyone together to pray brings a smile to my face. >> i did not invent it. i saw it. in this case, the coyote was linked somehow to the evangelicals. amy: what do you mean you saw it? >> i did not see it personally, i saw it in a video someone had taken. the coyote had gathered his group -- they were all crying. gives them instructions because after cross mexico. he says to them, "from now on, you're all mexican. he tells them the words they cannot say. how you have to treat the are authorities. he because evelyn ortega
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thinks is so dumb that she would not learn how to pass for a mexican and he says, "you will be mute so you don't speak. i'm taking you to a school where they treat the death and the mute." all of the stories i don't have to make up. they are real. there is a book i totally recommend. i should have read it before i wrote my book, but i did not know it existed. it is called "the devil's highway." it tells the story of 14 people who died in the desert of thirst and heat. but mostly, all the infrastructure that sustains the smuggling of human beings, the trafficking of human beings. why people leave? because nobody wants to leave what is familiar with them unless they're desperate. and who are the people who make it possible? sustaine organization
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all of this. amy: though you did not write this in the age of trump, you start all of your books on january 8, you're now traveling in the age of trump as you talk about the book. you have lived here. your feelings today? i was thinking about you describing september 11 in chile as your country changed. do you see any similarities? >> no. i see the fascist forces have been in this country and in my country always because trump doesn't invent anything. he picks up what is already there. pinochet would not have been possible for 17 years without the support of one third of the population. they thought it was much better to live under a repressive government and don't have any urban crime then have democracy and have free will and all of the things that we take for granted. when i came to this country 30 willie, thentold
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the men that i left, "i am scared. this country has this fascist element that i'm so scared of. i run away from that." he said, "are you crazy? this is the cradle of democracy." sense, "people have the that they are superior, that they can teach the world how to live and govern themselves. half of the population is armed. there is the idea of white supremacy, a latent fascination with violence. we don't want violence in our lives, but we are fascinated with the violence of football, of war, of the videogames, of movies. we want to live it vicariously. then when it happens like in the church a few days ago, then we are horrified. but our kids grow up with it. amy: we're going to do part two and post it online at isabel allende has written a new book called "in the midst of winter."
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happy birthday to john hamilton. thank you for joining us. thank you for joining us.
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