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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 22, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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05/22/15 05/22/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> these past two weeks my team has been presenting evidence to a grand jury that just today returned indictments against all six officers for the following offenses. amy: just over a month after the death of freddie gray sparked massive protests in baltimore, a grand jury has indicted six police officers, one officer
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faces second-degree murder and several other spacemen slaughter. we will go to baltimore for the latest. then to santa barbara california. >> we have basically two miles from shore is slick that is approximately 3.7 miles long the goes along the shoreline cutting east and northeast we have a slick offshore that is 5.3 miles. so a slick totaling about nine miles. amy: california has declared a state of emergency for santa barbara county after a ruptured pipeline leaked as much as 100,000 gallons of oil into the pacific ocean. the leak occurred near the massive 1969 santa barbara spill that helped launched the modern environmental movement and earth day. then to the legendary native american folk singer buffy sainte marie. >> ♪ these the universal soldier and he really is to blame
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but his orders come from far away no more they come from him and you and me this is not the way we want an end to war ♪ amy: five decades after writing the anti-war anthem "universal soldier" buffy sainte marie is out with a new record, "power in the blood." she joins us live in studio. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the self-proclaimed islamic state has reportedly taken -- seized the last syrian government-controlled border crossing between syria and iraq. the syrian observatory for human rights says syrian troops have withdrawn from al-tanf. isil's latest advance follows its capture of the iraqi city of ramadi and the ancient syrian city of palmyra. unesco director-general irina
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bokova called for a ceasefire to preserve some of the world's most renowned historic. -- historic structures. >> i appeal to all parties involved in the conflict for an immediate cease-fire in and around palmyra. we have the responsibility to protect and preserve it. i can't imagine the world will never see palmyra anymore. it is closely linked to the people living around it, the city of tim arruda, [indiscernible] we want to protect the civilians equally as we protect the heritage. amy: the united nations meanwhile said it's received reports of syrian government forces preventing residents from leaving palmyra, where isil forces have been executing residents. meanwhile, the us military has
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acknowledged a u.s. airstrike last year in syria likely killed two children, marking the first time the united states has admitted to civilian casualties in the campaign against isil. the children were killed in a strike targeting the al-qaeda-linked khorasan group near harim city. the syrian observatory for human rights has put the civilian toll from the u.s.-led campaign in syria far higher, saying 131 civilians have been killed including 42 children. in yemen, five ethiopian refugees were killed when saudi shells struck an international aid office in the town of maydee. 10 other refugees were wounded. airstrikes and deadly clashes continued across yemen thursday, a day after the u.n. announced it will convene a meeting of yemen's rival factions next week. there were reports of further civilian casaulties during intense arab bombing, including eight members of a single family killed in the province of dhamar. amnesty international has accused both sides in eastern
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ukraine of carrying out war crimes, including torture and summary killings of prisoners, on a near-daily basis. former prisoners from both sides of the conflict described being beaten until their bones broke tortured with electric shocks and subjected to mock executions. in the united states, the senate has voted to end debate on a measure to give president obama fast-track authority to negotiate the secretive nation -- 12-nation transpacific partnership trade deal, or tpp. the measure would let obama introduce the deal to congress for a yes-or-note vote with no amendments. it advanced despite opposition across the political spectrum, from lawmakers including alabama republican senator jeff sessions and democratic ohio senator sherrod brown, who said the tpp would lead to job loss. >> we make decisions here to throw people out of work and even "the wall street journal" editorial page, the greatest cheerleader, most surfers cheerleader for free trade in
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any newspaper the country, even they acknowledge people are thrown out of work because the dislocation. we are going to leave here and we are going to vote on this without even having amendments on how to take care of those workers and how to do trade enforcement. it simply doesn't make sense. amy: the nsa's bulk surveillance program may be on the verge of lapsing as the republican-led senate scrambles to renew key portions of the patriot act before they expire. the obama administration has warned lawmakers they must act today, because it needs time to halt the bulk spying program if they can't reach a deal. the house has passed a measure to end bulk spying, then left for a recess that to end june 1 when the program expires. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell had opposed any curbs to bulk spying, but is now pressing for a temporary extension. a federal appeals court has ruled the bulk phone records collection illegal. in ireland, voters are going to the polls today in a historic referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage. the referendum would make
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ireland the first country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage through a vote. despite opposition's from leaders in the heavily catholic country opinion polls show the , measure is expected to pass. the president of the boy scouts of america has called for an end to the organization's ban on lgbt adult leaders. robert gates, who previously served as cia director, and as defense secretary under presidents george w. bush and obama, made the call at a national meeting in atlanta, georgia. >> we must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it would be. the status quo and the members commitments membership standards cannot be sustained. we can expect more councils to openly challenge the current policy, while technically we have the authority to revoke their charters, such an action would deny the lifelong benefits of scouting to hundreds of thousands of boys and young men today and vastly more in the future.
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i will not take that path. amy: in 2013, the boy scouts of america lifted a ban on gay scouts, but not on adult leaders. a grand jury in baltimore, maryland has indicted six baltimore police officers in the death of freddie gray, clearing -- freddie gray, whose family said his spine was "80% severed at his neck." the indictment came after baltimore state's attorney marilyn mosby announced her decision to bring criminal charges against the officers. more after the headlines. protesters gathered in at least 20 cities across the country for a national day of action to honor women of color killed by police. while names like freddie gray and michael brown have become household terms, protesters sought to elevate lesser-known names like tanisha anderson, rekia boyd, miriam carey michelle cusseaux, shelly frey kayla moore and aiyana stanley-jones and many more. hundreds gathered in san francisco, many of them african-american women who
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protested topless. >> in america [indiscernible] in america, we kill women. at 2:00 p.m. with a gunshot to the head, no second chance, [indiscernible] in america, we kill women. we killed him this way in america. amy: to see our interview with camilla crenshaw and the brother of boyd as well as the mother of michelle, you can go to in new york, the family of an unarmed african-american man fatally shot in the dark stairway of a brooklyn housing project has filed a lawsuit against the city.
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akai gurley was 28 years old when he was killed by officer peter liang. authorities have described his death as a tragic accident saying he was totally innocent. gurley's domestic partner kimberly ballinger, filed the -- said the officer to his weapon. >> he had no reason for having it in his hand in his finger on the trigger. there is a lot of things here that must be looked into, both with the training and in the matter and the criminal case as well. amy: hundreds of demonstrators rallied in olympia, washington after a police officer shot two unarmed african-american men accused of trying to steal beer from a grocery store. officer ryan donald shot and wounded andre thompson and his stepbrother bryson chaplin claiming one of them assaulted him with a skateboard. both men are expected to survive. officer donald is on administrative leave.
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thousands of people descended on mcdonald's headquarters in oak brook, illinois for a second day to demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the right to unionize. protesters delivered a petition with 1.4 million signatures in support of worker demands. mcdonald's recently announced they would start paying workers $1-per-hour above the local minimum wage at company-owned stores, which comprise only about 10% of mcdonald's locations. the rest are franchises. guatemalan president otto perez molina has fired several top officials amid a corruption scandal which has prompted calls for his resignation. president perez said he had dismissed his interior, energy and environment ministers, the intelligence chief, and other officials. this week at least 16 people including the central bank chief , and head of the social security institute were arrested , on accusations of taking bribes to rig a contract for dialysis services in favor of a pharmaceutical firm. a number of patients died after the shift. this follows an earlier probe over a customs fee corruption
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ring, which prompted the resignation of the guatemalan vice president. el salvadoran archbishop oscar romero will be beatified saturday in san salvador in a step toward sainthood. archbishop romero was known as the "voice of the voiceless," an advocate for the poor and leading critic of the u.s.-backed salvadoran military government. he was killed march 24, 1980 by members of a u.s.-backed death squad while delivering mass at a hospital chapel. his assassination was ordered by salvadoran military officer roberto d'aubuisson, a graduate of the u.s.-run school of the americas. an envoy of pope francis will lead his beatification before hundreds of thousands of people. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
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a grand jury has indicted six baltimore police officers in the death of freddie gray, clearing the path for a criminal trial in the maryland courts. freddie gray died april 19 from his injuries suffered in police custody. his family and attorney say his voice box was crushed and his spine was 80% severed at his neck. his death sparked massive protests nationwide. at a news conference on thursday, baltimore state's attorney marilyn mosby announced the indictments. >> previously indicated my office conducted independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident with the death of freddie gray. on may 1, our investigation revealed we had sufficient probable cause to bring charges against six police officers. as our investigation has continued, additional information has been discovered and as is often the case, during an ongoing investigation charges can and should be revised they step on the
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evidence. these past two weeks my team has been presenting evidence to grand jury had just today returned indictments against all six officers for the following offenses -- juan: the indictments came nearly three weeks after mosby first announced her decision to bring criminal charges against the officers. while some of the charges have been amended, the most serious ones -- second-degree murder against officer caesar goodson and involuntary manslaughter against four of the officers -- remained intact. amy: for more we go to baltimore, maryland, where we're joined by longtime civil rights attorney a. dwight pettit who specializes in criminal and constitutional law. pettit has successfully tried dozens of cases of police misconduct. a. dwight pettit, welcome to democracy now! your response to the grand jury handing down the indictment? >> they came down as expected, so there is no surprise. i'm glad to see the amendment that took place included reckless endangerment.
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i think that is a catchall that i was sort of disappointed was not in the original charges, saw was glad to see that. and i was a little bit surprised, but not really, to see the false and persimmon charges had been deleted. -- imprisonment charges have been deleted. i think the state realized that was a stretch, even though it was progressive to bring the charges, but it might be a stretch to intact attach criminality to probable cause whether it existed or whether it didn't exist. other than that, there was nothing there that is any surprise. anticipated the grand jury would follow the lead of the state's attorney and those charges would be transferred to a true bill of indictment. juan: what about the claims from the policeman's union that there is a conflict of interest here with the state's attorney in this case? could you respond to that? >> i think their frivolous. i think it is a political and personal attack on ms. mosby.
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i see nothing in their allegations that would warrant any type of -- one of the striking parts about it is when they talk about billy murphy contributing $5,000 to ms. mosby. they in fact themselves contributed almost the same amount of money. so that is something that takes place in politics anywhere you go people contribute money. i don't see anything there. her husband being a member of the city council, that is ridiculous. those accusations are basically i guess, was a response in terms of the fop just trying to muddy the waters. one of the interesting things, they called for special prosecutor. well, we were fighting for special prosecutor in the legislature this year in terms of all police review. the fop opposed it. they are totally contradict themselves. these motions in terms of her having any type of conflict of interest as she indicated, are
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just about ridiculous. juan: what about the issue of the possible motion for change of venue when a trial occurs? in new york city, we of the infamous case of -- a decade ago and there was a change of venue all the way to albany, about 150 miles away, reducing completely different jury and eventually, the acquittal of all of the officers involved. >> i think if there is a change of venue, that would be a political decision and not a legal decision. i don't see anything in the law which would in fact cause this case to be taken from the jurors of baltimore city. there is term in that legal process called voir dire, use that to make sure person who might have heard about the case can render a fair and impartial decision. if tree -- if pretrial publicity is the issue, well, this is the case that is been exposed to the world. how does moving it to another
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county in fact cure the pretrial publicity that everybody has been exposed to? voir dire i think is sufficient to cure any problems in terms of the jury pool. i think of a judge removes it from the city of baltimore, that would be more of a political decision rather than a legal decision because i find a legal basis for removal. amy: new cellphone video sheds light on freddie gray's fatal journey in a baltimore police van. the footage obtained by "the baltimore sun" shows freddie gray lying motionless as several police officers shackle his ankles and load him into the vehicle. it appears to contradict earlier police claims that gray was irate and combative. one of the officers, lieutenant brian rice reportedly threatened use his taser on the eyewitness who was filming this. can you talk about this, the significance of this, a. dwight
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pettit? >> well, i think the newly discovered evidence that has come forth basically supports the charges that the state's attorney has in fact brought against the police officers. in this intimidation i think -- the officer, when he saw the lady pull out the camera, threatened to move toward her, what have you, to some extent is the normal conduct of the baltimore city police department. i have been practicing lawyer for 42 years and handled over 100 or so police brutality cases. we won some of the largest bird examination and the state. in the last 20 years i know in terms of shootings unarmed african-american men and women and so forth, i've handled over 25, 30. it is intimidation of witnesses. it is a normal feature of the baltimore city police department . that does not surprise me. i think in terms of the first part of your question,
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obviously, freddie gray was not doing those things which should have subjected them to any type of brutality or type of force that would in fact cause his death. one of the interesting parts of the evidence here that i think we need to look for and will appreciate will be the report of the pathologist or if there is an independent pathologist secured by the state's attorney's office, what they indicate as to force requirement and where the blows would have occurred and how they could have occurred in terms of causation of death. juan: from your close watching of the circumstances around this case, why do you think the one officer who was driving the van was charged with second-degree murder? >> it is basically any conduct which creates are you are aware of a very excessive condition in terms of extreme condition. and i think -- you have to
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realize, it says second-degree murder, that is not like murder as we think of in terms of that charge. there is no requirement for specific intent, no requirement for premeditation. there is no requirement for malice of forethought. all you have to show is the person knew of a dangerous condition, was aware of it, and continued to act without addressing those dangerous conditions which in fact been led to the death of the individual victim. it is not just because -- depraved-heart murder is not at the same level as murder as we know murder one or in fact murder two. it is murder two but it is a different standard, more of nonaction and ignoring a certain condition that you knew existed. i think that is what they are saying in terms of the driver and what have you, that he saw this, he is several opportunities to see mr. gray's condition, was aware of it.
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maybe he heard the pleas for help and so forth. and he knew it was a dangerous condition and he ignored it. amy: can you explain for people around the country and around the world the different systems that operate here? i mean, in baltimore, you have the state attorney. she announced indictments. now you have the grand jury. they have announced indictments. where does this process go from here? >> basically, when the state's attorney brings charges, that is just an initial type of thing. the grand jury in fact ratifies that by finding probable cause. it is a very low standard to in fact get an indictment. that is why people were so upset with ferguson and so forth will stop -- so forth in new york where they failed to get the indictment. that is her or his show, the state's attorney. it is not an adversary proceeding, no other lawyers or judge. that takes place at the request
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of the state's attorney. the next thing will be the arraignment. when you get to arraignment where they would file appearances entering pleas of not guilty, request child by jury, then you get into the issue of motions. the motions will be filed for severance, for removal, and that -- that discovery will be turned over where the defense will get all of the evidence that the state has. that is when the ballgame begins. this is a state prosecution in baltimore city. normally about a year before a case comes to trial. because of the national attention and the worldwide attention, it might be expedited . and when those motions come in then we will see whether or not -- one of the big motions we have to watch for is whether there will be a motion to sever. if the case is severed under the supreme court's case meaning one officer is made statements which inculcates another officer, they might have a right to separate
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trials. then we will find out if there will be one trial or there will be six trials. that will also determine the time period in terms of when the trials will take place, whether we're dealing with one with six defendants or one with does or numbers within that range. that will all be determined by motions. motions is the next major thing. in baltimore, usually the trial judge that will have the case come also is the motions judge. and when that is assigned, that judge, she or he will determine these motions of which we speak of now in terms of recusal and removal, in terms of severance. then of course, all of your motions to dismiss the indictment, etc., etc., etc. juan: what about the rapidity with which this indictment came down? we're seen cases where ferguson or staten island to months
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before a grand jury heard the evidence and render a decision. the here we are talking about just a few weeks. >> well, this state's attorney, she is just elected and she ran on the basis of her office would be open and transparent and she would follow the evidence. i think she was very, very aware of the national sentiment as well as the local sentiment in terms of police thing protected by the state's attorney's office, which is also what has occurred here in baltimore city mi my 42 years of practice, and the state's attorney really works in conjunction with the police officer -- and many cases, covers for the police. i think she was making a broad statement and a bold statement that she was going to follow her campaign promises, not meaning all police are bad, not charging all police, because she comes out of a police family. but she was going to move
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expeditiously and follow the evidence and wherever the evidence lead, she was going to in fact bring those charges were those cases. because it happened in a quick manner, i do not think that in fact distracts from the substance of the allegations in the indictment. amy: a. dwight pettit, longtime civil rights attorney in baltimore who specializes in criminal and constitutional law. successfully tried dozens of cases of police misconduct. won the largest verdict in maryland history, one of the largest in the country in 2004 at $105 million. we will continue to follow the freddie gray case. as we premiere today on democracy now!, a new song by neil young called "rock starbucks." ♪ [music break]
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amy: that is neil young. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: a clean-up effort residents say was slow to start is now underway off the coast of santa barbara, california, where crude oil from a broken pipeline leaked into the pacific ocean and washed ashore at refugio state beach. the company that operates the pipeline first said 21,000 gallons had leaked, but then increased their estimate to 105,000 gallons. this is michelle rogow, on-scene
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coordinator for the environmental protection agency speaking thursday. >> last night crews worked with archaeological support and monitoring to excavate more than 400 yards of saturated -- oil saturated soil starting at the far end south of the contaminated area in the actual release location. air monitoring is been conducted in the area. for both volatiles as well as hydrogen sulfide. and this morning, crews are moving down toward the highway from the source area and continuing to excavate contaminated soil beginning to flesh out the actual colbert the drainage pathway that led from the oakland side of the highway down to the ocean. and are working to capture that oil and collect it. amy: on thursday, the santa barbara independent revealed the ruptured pipeline operated by
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plains all american is the only pipeline in the county that is not required to be equipped with an automatic shut-down valve in case of a leak because it operates outside of the regulatory oversight of the county. this latest spill recalls a catastrophic blowout at an oil well in the same area in 1969, when union oil's drilling platform spewed an estimated 3 million gallons of crude along 30 miles of coastline. for more we go to santa barbara where we are joined by two guests. tyler hayden is a news editor and reporter with the santa barbara independent. and linda krop is chief counsel for the environmental defense center. welcome both of you to democracy now! linda krop, explain the extent of the damage and what is being done about it. >> the spill has had a devastating effect are ready and it is very frustrating. i was at the site the first evening and nothing was being done to prevent the oil from
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getting into the ocean. it should've been done immediately because the spill occurred about one quarter mile from the ocean. when we got there tuesday evening, the beach was blanketed with a solid array of oil. behind tide was coming in, waves were washing the oil out to sea, which mix of virtually impossible to clean up. they had no shore-based response, no offshore response. they had identified and contained the leak, but they do nothing to prevent the oil from getting into the ocean. now we have dead sea life, birds, a sea lion have been oiled. and who knows how much the damage will be but it has a restart several miles toward santa barbara. juan: linda krop for the residents in your area that brings to mind the terrible tragedy that perhaps many of our younger audience don't know about, or weren't born when it occurred, the 1969 spill. could you talk about that?
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>> yes, the 1969 spill occurred from an offshore platform blowout. after that spill occurred, everyone thought that would be the end to offshore world drilling in our area, and that is not the case. the federal government did continue to approve more platforms off of our coast going into the 1980's. but one of the good results from the 1969 oil spill was that that is when most of our federal environmental laws were passed in the early 1970's. and we have a lot more laws on the books, a lot more regulations. we have much more advanced technology. you still have oil spill's happening all over the place. what this shows us, doesn't matter how strong the regulations, how advanced the technology is, oil spills are inevitable in the old way to stop oil spills is to stop oil development. this pipeline was not an isolated incident. if this pipeline was carrying oil from our offshore platform
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and if those platforms were not there, the pipeline would not be there in our beaches would not be fouled. amy: tyler hayden, can you talk about the company involved plains all american pipeline? it has well over 100, nearly 200 violations around it over the last years. talk about its record and how the spill was discovered. >> the spill first came to our attention around noon on tuesday when we heard the county firefighters had responded to the smell of gas in the area. and they quickly saw what was described to us as a small river of oil spilling into the ocean. they traced it back to the underground pipeline operated by plains all american pipeline. they saw the underground pipe had ruptured and was spilling oil. from then, that is when -- at least the attention was brought to the pipeline, as linda said,
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there wasn't a lot of response. plains, as you said, has a bit of a checkered past when it comes to safety and enforcement of its infrastructure. from what i understand, there has been about 175 incidents in the last 10 years involving plains pipes. it is in the business of transporting and storing crude and has about 6000 miles of pipeline across the country. i know during those spills recently, they haven't been fined much by the epa. i think the largest was about $280,000. there is definitely some heightened scrutiny after this incident, but it sounds like they've had some issues for quite a while. juan: and the issue of why there was not an automatic shut off on this pipeline? >> right. what we found out yesterday this pipeline has been a bit of a regulatory mess. when it was installed in 1987
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plains successfully sued the county to have the pipeline not be under the county plus management or jurisdiction. they argue because it crossed state lines, should be under federal regulations. it was until 2013 and the federal government said they didn't have the personnel -- excuse me, the equipment or just sort of the need to manage the pipeline, so they passed it back down to the state. the state has been managing it since 2013. a because it wasn't under the county's management, it was a required heaven on a medicament -- have an automatic shut off. amy: at a thursday morning news conference dodging questions about the company's safety record.
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>> we are required to fill out certain federal documents. we have a tolerance of zero tolerance for failure to report. we report all regardless of they are required to be reported or not. editing context. we report all am including your misses. the purpose is so we can learn so we don't have an incident that does have a negative impact. i would like to put it in the context, we report all incidents regardless if it is required or not. if you looked over the years the scrutiny and requirement to report, more and more incidents of lesser volume were at one time it was five barrels now down to five gallons. if he gets on the ground, we required to be reported. >> how do you rate your record? >> our goal is to improve -- our goal is zero. we are not happy unless it is zero. that is our focus. >> are you happy?
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amy: despite its spill record, plains all the mac and reportedly has plans to construct a pipeline in arkansas were in at on mobile pipeline that ruptured in 2013 spilled nearly 135,000 gallons of crude oil into a residential area. linda krop, are we talking about a plane all american oil spill here? and what do you think needs to happen? >> i think what needs to happen most of all, is awareness that the technology will never be perfect. this pipeline should have shut down immediately and it did not. but we also had an oil spill here from an offshore pipeline in 1997 where the pipeline did shutdown immediately when a leak was detected and an operator on the offshore platform turned the pipeline back on and overwrote the shutdown system. unfortunately, whether it is the
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technology or whether it is operator error, there are always going to be oil spills. there is no way to prevent that. this spell has art he had a very significant impact in an area that is one of the most biologically rich on the planet. it is referred to as the northern galapagos. we just have to stop this cycle. we have to protect these areas. juan: tyler, the connection of oil giant exxon to this oil? >> you know, i can't speak to that. i know the pipeline was servicing the exxon refinery a little ways up the coast. but as i mentioned, the pipeline is owned and operated by plains. i don't know if exxon has much if any, involvement in this spill. amy: who ends up paying for this, the cleanup?
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andy you have high hopes it will be cleaned up -- and do you have high hopes will be cleaned up? >> plains will have to pay for the cleanup and it will probably be assessed some fines and maybe even some penalties if there is a demonstration of some neglect or wrongdoing. i am not confident the spill will be cleaned up because so much of the oil reached the ocean. on average, a notion oil spill is only cleaned up about 15% or so. even as of day three, they did not have enough equipment on the water, and of boom, because they said they were restricted by many vessels they had out there. so they had maybe half a mile of boom for a spell that was well over nine or 10 miles. we do not think the oil will be cleaned up. i think we will see the impact for quite some time. juan: finally, the amazing citizen response? hundreds of people coming out
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onto the beaches to try to do what they could to clean up this mess. >> the community response has been amazing. everyone once to help. unfortunately, the agencies responsible for the cleanup are trying to divert people to other activities because there are some health implications. oil contains toxic chemicals, so they're worried about people inhaling the toxics. they're worried about people coming into skin contact. they're worried if people aren't trained. they're diverting people some -- to websites to volunteer and then it says no volunteers needed. people are starting to get very frustrated. they really want to help. they would like to be on the beach helping. and so far, there really hasn't been an avenue for them. but the community is really up
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in arms. we have been contacted by a lot of businesses that don't normally aligned with the environment of groups here, but they are even saying, what can we do? they are feeling the hit. tourists aren't coming. we are releasing the economic hit as well. and go lets in with one of the members of the cleanup crew who has been helping to clean up the oil spill off the coast of santa barbara, california. >> we're right today in the was one general men on the beach shoveling oil from the ocean into the buckets. and we decided to join him and the next thing you know, a lot more of us came down here. it was about 7:00 a.m. we have been shoveling buckets ever since. amy: that is cyrus. we will continue to cover the story. we want to thank our guest linda krop chief counsel for the , environmental defense center. as well as tyler hayden reporter with the santa barbara
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independent. when we come back, buffy sainte-marie joins us live in studio. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: buffy sainte marie singing "universal soldier" at our old studio in 2009. this is democracy now!
3:44 pm, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: well, today as we head into the memorial day weekend, buffy sainte marie returns to the democracy now! studios. that song "universal soldier" has become one of the classic antiwar songs of the 1960's. she once said, "it's about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all." buffy sainte-marie wrote it in 1964. a year later, just months after u.s. ground forces invaded vietnam, the british singer donovan turned it into a hit. five decades later she is still making powerful music. she has just released "power in the blood." it's her first studio album since 2008. amy: buffy sainte marie has led a remarkable life. she was born in 1941 on the piapot cree first nations reserve in saskatchewan, canada. she grew up in massachusetts after becoming an orphan. in the early 1960's, she became a leading figure in the toronto and greenwich village folk scenes. her song "until it's time for you to go" was recorded by everyone from elvis presley to
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barbara streisand to neil diamond. she has also written and sung about the struggles of native american and first nations people for decades. she worked with the american indian movement began a foundation for american indian education. her political activism would lead her to be largely blacklisted from commercial radio in the 1970's. on her new album, she re-records two songs from what's become known as her "blacklist years." buffy sainte marie, welcome back to democracy now! >> thanks. amy: tell us about your new album. it is back -- great daddy back well for you, new studio. how you incorporate the past into the present. >> the new album is called "power in the blood." after i last saw you, i put together a band and told him we were going on a two-year world to her and all of a sudden it was like five or six years into a two-year world to her.
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true north records can demand said, do want to make a record? we have been doing new ones, old ones. some had been forgotten or never made it to airplane the first place. i was just ready to record. that is what this album is about, power in the blood itself is some very, very strong words about contemporary issues. gmo and fracking and war and it was actually a song written and originally recorded by group called alabama three, he might know -- who you might know for the theme song of "the sopranos." they are friends of mine. i said this would make a great peace song. i changed the words, updated it. another song on the album is called "kerry it on." it is super positive. it is, hold your head up, per
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your eyes on the earth, lift your heart to your own home planet and what do you see? are you here to improve or damn it? so take heart and take care. it ain't money that makes the world go round. it ain't government that makes the nation strong. take heart and take care. if you've got the sense to take care of your source of protection mother nature is the daughter of god and the source of all protection. look right now and you see she's only here by the skin of her teeth as it is. so take heart and take care of your life and carry it on and keep playing and keep praying and carry it on. this is an album of contemporary issues involving some updated songs, some new songs, some songs by me and some by other people. juan: since her last album, the
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music world has been changing quite a bit. i'm wondering your sense of how music has been changing, the production of albums and now with taylor swift and beyoncé the big names these days, what has happened to the music world? >> i don't know. i don't think the music industry changes a lot. stars may rotate, but there is an awful lot of corporate push between some people and not other people. i think there's always an undercurrent of artists who are truly unique and only 80% of people who are following whatever is hot at the moment. but i think writers continue to write, sometimes addressing contemporary issues and sometimes not. i just think the whole world in general has come a long way since i saw you last. and i think the general population is more awake now. there are a lot more people who are afraid right now, but it is because they've opened their
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eyes. thanks to a lot of people like yourselves. people are acknowledging what the issues are. but still, as in the case of universal soldier, still, if you look at our world today, we have five heavily funded colleges of war and we don't have one such serious properly funded college that teaches alternative conflict resolution. in india, people make changes because gandhi taught them about alternative conflict resolution. there are a lot of things that people ought to be learning right now because people are awake, but they don't have the tools -- the true tools for making change right now. i am always telling people don't put yourself in the position of suicide by going up against somebody who's going to outgun you, whether it is an army, security force, a police force. we have to learn how to do things in a different way, not just killing ourselves while we
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try to make change. amy: i want to play some things from the new outbound, "power in the blood." this is your song, "my way." >> ♪ i'm getting my own way and i daresay it's my own under my own speeds, i can tell you things i've done and i can sing you songs i've song but there is one thing i can't give
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the years i've known in the life i've grown it's my way ♪ >> amy: "it's my way" by buffy sainte-marie. talk about a song you wrote 50 years ago and incorporating it into this song. >> we were doing it on the road all the time anyway and i decided to record it. really, that song is about self identity. although i'm talking about myself, i really hoping to encourage the self-identity of people in the audience to explore their own uniqueness. it doesn't seem to be very much that encourages a person plus continual growth continuo exploration of their own world. it is encouraging other people's uniqueness. that is what we really need and yet i think there's so little encouragement given to what i
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will call positive mutation. and i think really every single person is ripening all the time. you and me, the guys, we're not so sure about, but i think everyone is ripening little by little. when i look at 50 years we have made a lot of great changes. a lot of things are really good right now. the euro is going to have racketeers -- you're always go and have racketeers. it is been going on since the old testament. at the same time, there have been peace people of jesus gandhi, martin luther king people in the audience right now who are the hope of the future. you're not hearing about them yet, but i think we can encourage it in ourselves. amy: speaking of what can be heard and what can't be heard can you talk about being blacklisted during the 1960's? on monday, we're going to be playing the sixth ordinary panel that juan moderated and washington, d.c. with ron
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dellums, house of the armed services committee oakland commerce member, former oakland congress member, has shored or pat shorter tom hayden, wayne smith who is a vietnam medic. it is the 40th anniversary of the end of the war, 50th anniversary of the was invading south vietnam. when you were singing about it, what happened? why was it difficult to hear your songs? >> i did not know the time, but i found out 20 years later apparently administration johnson and dixon administration's, apparently, they drown my career, the career of her thicket, taj mahal had problems him and i was told irate over broadcast or live on the air at the beginning of an interview -- this was in the 1980's. richard nixon was gone. the democratic administration
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and republican administration apparently had downed a lot of careers for being outspoken. i don't think was just that i had written "universal soldier" and "now that the buffalo is gone." i think it is because i got famous and oh shooting my mouth off on "the tonight show." it was because i had maxing covers. billboard magazine had named me best new artist on the year the beatles came to america. i had a lot going on. but i spoke out. when "until it's time for you to go" which is just a pop love song, when it was been recorded by elvis presley and everybody, i was getting big-time publicity and i was talking about the fact there was a war in vietnam. later on in the next administration, i was talking about what was going on at wounded knee, south dakota and the american indian movement. sometimes people say, doesn't that make you hate the u.s. government? and it doesn't. it doesn't have anything to do
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the u.s. government. it is not as though an act of congress has passed and her thicket and buffy sainte-marie get wiped out of airplay forever and ever. it is a few guys in the administration the make nasty phone calls from the back room. it is networking, personal phone calls to the media. i was never allowed to play in indian country. who owns the newspapers? who owns the theaters? who owned tv and radio? the same guys that owned the big resource companies who works on eating native american people -- who are exploiting native american people and land. juan: next to pbs and "sesame street," at the same time the board trying to sign silence you, they were allowing you to speak out. you are a regular from 1976 to 1981 including a week of shows from your home in hawaii. this is a clip from one of those episodes when you sing "i'm an indian wherever i go."
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>> ♪ first there was the hawaiian land, the big blue ocean and the sunny sand. then votes that they made by hand came hawaiian i'm an indian wherever i go hawaiian sun or canada snow when i am in hawaii, and still in indian in hawaii, hawaiians are the kings and queens welcome everybody i respect them. hey, hey hey
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bring a little aloha to hawaii i'm an indian wherever i go, hawaiian sun or canada snow and when i am in hawaii, still in indian ♪ juan: that is buffy sainte-marie on "sesame street." the impact your performance is there, your appearances had in terms of young people in america and the minute that we have left, where you're going to be performing next? >> we have one more concert in schenectady, new york. three going across canada. -- next month we're going across canada. >>juan: and the impact of sesame street? >> i could take the positive impact to the country three
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times a day. they never stereotyped me. we did things about american native culture, breast-feeding, sibling rivalry -- amy: your son was on. >> yes my son, cody. he is a big run a guy now. amy: what do you hope to be doing now as you go on this tour, the message you are spreading? you are fighting the vietnam war and were blacklisted. we're in the midst of, well, i don't know if we can count the number of wars we are involved with in the middle east. >> yeah, i really am on a campaign to appreciate the good things that we have going on right now, which is really being awake. i have been to the the alberta tar sands. it is much worse than i could have imagined stuff i lived in hawaii, gmo is everywhere. spreading pesticides, sprang them all over us and it is very, very serious. thank you, people, for being awake. please stay positive.
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please put down violence. step up, learn alternative conflict resolution. amy: buffy sainte-marie, thank you for being with us, canadian first nations singer-songwriter and activist. >> this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. asking you on this last day that we get to ask for your support to go to phone and pledge whatever you can to ensure independent media lives on. if you appreciate his daily grassroots, global international investigative news hour, then please make your call. it appears twice every weekday on live tv, every morning at the 11:00 eastern standard time. daily grassroots global international news hour.
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we urge you to call. if you appreciated seeing buffy savery today, blacklisted under republican and democratic administrations as she sang against the war in vietnam and here she is 50 euros later on with a new album. if you appreciated the artistry and resistance, watching what was happening in santa barbara with this oil spill, and starting in baltimore where a grand jury handed down an indictment against six police officers, we cannot do this work without you. on monday, we have a special for you. it is the 40th anniversary of the end of the war in vietnam, 50th anniversary of the first troops landing in vietnam. our broadcast includes the former chair of the house armed services committee, first african-american to head it, pat schroeder, one of the youngest women


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