tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 6, 2018 8:00am-8:58am PDT
just last week, a study harvard put the death ll at 4645 -- 70imes t offial count. wewe will spspeak to naomi klei, auth of the new book "the bale for paradise: puertrto co takes s on thehe disasr capitalis," as well as elizabetheampierre and puerto rican environmenl activist katia aviles-vaz. >> a lot ofarmers are starvi, evennow they havan amazing amount ofand, that nothing to harvest. ore, befraditional agricultural fms would be into crops with oranges and banas and plain chains, and tt provides for your family.
amy: all that d more, ming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'amy goodman. voters hto the polls yestererday for primiein alabama, calalornia, iowa, ssissippppi, montatana, ne jersey, new mexico, d south dakota. in california, democratic eutenantovernor r and er san francisco mayor gavin newsom won the democratic primary for governor. he'll face off against sman john co who is backed by president trump, in november's gubernatorial race in california. th is gavin newsompeaking on tuesd night. >> we arengaged in an epic battle. it looks l like voters will hava real choice this november r the 2020 govovernorho is going to stand upo donald trump and if a soldier i his war on california. amy: docratic california setor dianne feinstein w her primary race, though it remains unclear who she will fe in novembe's general election.
tuday s a big night for fema cantes. inewexico, former democric state party ader deb holland won her congressionamocratic primary, putng her on track to beco the first native americ congresswon in u.s. history. she is an enrolled member the pueblo of guna and is running on a pro-immigration platfm, opposisi trum's border wall and vocating for the abolition of the immigration and cuoms enforcement agen, known as ice. th is deb hollanspeakingng tuesdanigh >> our winis a victory for working people, victory for indianory foror country. [cheers] and victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionairclass. amy: other women candidates who won tuesday night include io democrs cindy ax-nee and abby finkenauer.
iowa has never before sent a woman these of reesentatives. in south dakota, congresswoman kristi gnome won the republican gubeatorial primary, making her likely to become south dakota's rst fele governor. meanwhil in ala, puan conesswoman martha roby w fced into a runoff to sa percy after she took political heat for refusing to endorse president trump when the "access hollywood" tape surfaced, saying -- "i cannot look my children in the eye and justify a teor a man who promotes and boast abt seally assaulting women." she will now ce a july runoff against former democratic congressmber bobby bright, who is now runng as a republican and has attacked roby for not backg president trump during the 2016 election. epa administrator scott pruitt again facing controversy over a slew of new political scandals. "the washington st" reports prui had his former scheduler t thacieieexecutive of chick-fil-a seeking to s up a personal meeting aut the
possibility of pruitt's wife, malyn, opening a f franchise of the fast food chain. the e revelation is basesed on emailsls obtained by a freedom f information act request fileledy the sisierra club.b. meanwhile, "the new york times" reports s that pruitt t attendea unersity of kentucky basketball g game la d decembern seats belonging to joseph w. craft iii, the billionaire coal executive who is aggressively fighting to reverse obama-era rules limiting coal poution. pruitt is also facing criticis after congressional transcripts surfaced showinge had one of his aides gopartnt hunting for in viation of federal ethics standards that prohibit personal assistance by a subordinate. the aide was also instructed to try get pruitt a used mattress from e trump international hote interestingly, back in 2015, the mattress company sertta dumped trump's matches lined. thunit nations has slammed
the unit states foits practice of serating mignt ildren from their parents at border, tngraice violates intertional law. this is ravina shamdasanof the united nations office for human rights. >> t u.s. should ily halt this practice of separating falies a stop criminalizing ratihould at most be offense, that of thular ery and stay in the u.s. there's nothing normal about dedetaininghiren. i sai the tension is ve heest interest of the child and always conites a chil rights violation. it is been a criminal offense, this -- entry into a cntry without the right pers should at most be administrative offensand i's real does t warrrrant jailing children. amy:ederal ari reportedly separated at least 600 immigrant children from their parents lastonth, sparking widespread ououage and inteternational condemnation.
the immigrion and customs enforcement agency, knowas ice,aided a gardening and landscaping company ino and detained 114 undocumented immiants tuesday. the workers at corso's flower & garden center are expected to face criminal charges, including identity the and tax evasion. nine peoe arrested on seattle amending billionaire developer martin selig stop leasingo ice, border patrol, and the seattle immigration court. the protesters with the group northwest deten resistance lked themselves together and blockaded traffic outside one of his buildings for nearly two hours. the whithouse has nounced prident trump and north rean leader kim jong- will meet at thfive-star capella hotel on singapore's sentosa island for their proposed june summit. the locati's nouncement tuesday cos after presiden trump said friday he would hold thmmit after canceling the
only one week before. ju a day after abruptly canceling a white hoe visit with super bl-winning philadelphia eagles,onald p hosted a military celebration without the team tuesday, singing the natiol america" by the video showed trump did notnoof . tuesd'tevent was planned after trump canceled the eagl visi on monday nigweetg -- "staying in the locker room for the playing of our national them is disrespectful as -- to our countryry as kneeliling. sorry." not a single eags player now it during the national anthem in ththe 2017 season. lebron james of the cleveland cavaliers and steph curry of the goldenen state warririors have h stated that they will not accept an invitation to the white house ould their tea win the nba playoffs. in india, millions of farmers e in the mide of a 10-day strike to demand dt reli and higher prices for their produce.
the striunch on ne 1, has caused vegetable prices to jumps much as 10% in major indian cities as farmers withhold their produ from markets. the ongoing protest spans eight states across india, mosof which are ruled by prime minister narendra modi's bjp part it folws a similar stre last year, during whicholice shot and killedive striking farmers in the centraltate of madhya pradh exactly one year ago today. in s wom aen were ivergrgra's lilicens mond just two weeks before the sai govement is finanally slated to lifthehe ban on wonn driving onwide. busome of the acvists who fo t to lift t ban remain in prison after t saudi governme arresesteat least six of the country's mostst prominet fenist activists last month. , huinf pere main missing after volcac erupon 25 miles southwest of the capital guatemala ci has buried whole villas in lava.
the eruption of e fuo volc-- whichea fire -- has kill at least 75 people so far, with officials warninth death toll is cted to ntinue rising. in a vtory for gay rights, the european union'ghest court has ruled that all 28 member countries of the european uni must rognize same-sex marriages in questns of residency rights and afford reign spouseof eu citizens tht t to live anand work in the european u. the plaiiff in the cas, a man, said after ting, "we in thf any blic officiain r ia t e.u at the certainty thatur relationship is equly valuable and equallyelevt for the purpose of fr movement within the e.u." in new york tyan annual real estate conference fad protest tuday over the attendance of ivate pron companies. gegroup and corecivic co 2013 to real es
investment trusts or reet's to avoi corporate taxes. the republican tax plan also offers a 25% taxut on investnts in prisons. ths daniel carrillo. >> the coalition between this lobby and the incree in arsts and c criminalization a ad detetention and incratitionand want to break the cycle. amy: also in new york city, resiindents d community groups are calling on the city onew york to create its own public tank to divest from wl reks that are fincinfossil fuelxtraction and private pris companies. the miss america organization, which runs the miss america paget, says thcompetion will no longer judge contestants based on their physical lo d wi no longer include the swimsuit pororon of the event. in december, the entire leadership of the miss arica organion was forced to resign after the huffington post published a series of emails in which the organization's ceo and
its employees referred to the men contestants as t cord and malcontents, called former winner gretchen carlson a snake, and shamed another former winner out her weight gain. in califora,ud aaron led rsom offe natirsft al outrageorersi swimmer brock turner to a six-month prison term for xually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. turner was caught by two witnesses thrusting on top of the viim as she lay unter.consci but judgpersky said he was concerned a longer term wod have aerious impact on turr, who is white judge persky later ge a harsher sentence to a latino man e fit timece 193similar crime. that calornia voters have chosen to recall a sitti dge. to seeururull coverage of the brock turner case, g mocracow.org. minnesa congssman keith ellison has announced he's running for attorney genal in
minnesota. ellison the first muslim elected to cgress in the united states. ao serves as the deputy chaiof t democratic national committee. legendary artist and musician jala mansur he gmandfather of rap," has died at the age o. whe an davind oimer he's performing "white mans got a gocomplex." bt want to beat me because i aini't your kind ecause youit n't never around. the ite man's t a god complex.
ams is docracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez juan: welcome to all of our lieners and viewers from arou the country and around the world. hurricane season is officially underway. and today we spend theour looking at puerto rico as it septembestto recover from researchers attl h reveed t death toll from hurricane maria may be a the official cnt.a the official death toll stilll stands at 64, but the new study ast 4645, with some onojections toppin00. the rt' co-authors, dr. domingo marques of carlos albizu university.y. 4645.
to telell you in our sty,y, we er from the hur, wase pple whsu due to t fact the average puerto r rican was exped to 84 da w whout electric po por.moreover, it was more than 0 days without drinkg w, hich is huge pu probm. ore than0 days for the age person without cellular commications. so just thosthree things gives reasons to thehe mortality numbers. 911 was not only not working in small towns, it was down in l of puerto rico. when you think about those things, you can understand w the number was so high. amy: presidentrump haso far not respond to the new study. but in october ding a visit to puertoico,rump boasted about the low official death count pres. trump: w, i hate to tell you, puerto ri, t you he rown our budget a little out of whack because we have spent a lot of money on puerto rico d fineth we sed a -- every deh is a horror. but if you look at a real
catastroe like katrina and you look at the tremendous ds t t died and you look what happen here wi, really, a storm that was justotally overbearing. body has eveseen anything like this. what is your death count as of this moment, 17? >> 1 pres. trump: 16 ople certified. verses ithe thousands. you can be very proud of all of your pple, all of r pple working together. 16 versesly tusands of people. trump. that was presintnt he tossed paper tows to some of theesidents of san juan cable news networks are facing criticism for spending far more time covering the "roseanne" story than the study thafound at least 4645eople diedn puerto rico because ofhe hurricane.
accordrding to medimatts, the inable news network's covered roseanne for over 10 s tst d of coverage. they can't hurricane maria's death toll in puerto rico for just over 30 minutes. fox bds j juan mayor carmemen yulilin cruu posted online "never forgotten. never again." amy: for more we host a , roundtable dcussion. wewe're joined by naomi klelein, author, jourlist, ana senior coespondent for the intercept. she has a new book out called "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalists." she's also author of "no is not enough: resisting trump's shock politicsnd winning the world we need," "this changes everything: capitalism vs. the climate," and the shock doctrine: e risef disaster pitali." also joiningis kat aviles-vazquez, a puerto rican enviroental actist and memb of a sustaible farming
reurce group callethe boricua organization for ecologal agricture, which is alancethe imate justice elizabeth yeampierre, executive directorf uprose, brooklyn's nization.tino communy based is also -chair of the imate justice alliance. you ve just come om the island ,kati yo are there when the harvard study meut. it is not that a lot of peopl on the island were not sin-- it is the opposi of what trump said at the time. he is consulting the governor and said, 16, 17 people died. at is right after. and now this numbe maybe 4600, ybe 5700 people who have died host up was that your sense of ings? as we mo i this xt hurrican season, what are your major concerns rig now? >> ts f hilight the center for investigative jrnalism. they were the rst was to
document and call out at were all feeling in new and had seen, whh is we ha died in the ousands. i think its important to highlightheir wor particularly, theyere able to gain a victory yesterdo ss to t. the 46 number is -- an: a e ordered the governor of puerto rico to finay release the numbers. >> that came done yesterday, yes. we knew it was going to be in the thousands. i think it is importto not focus on wheth it is 4645 or 57ecause we knew it was going to be the thsands. the study remains within ahree month wiow, which i october, november, demb. looks spefically at the survey ty were doing plthat wenat aearilyount allhe p
timethat maybe could have lasted littler ffed befth fallyt bodies gave up becau they ult take the he or the lack of food. think s important tha highlights not onlyt it was ke secret, but the fact was kept secret toerve a pitic agenda in the case of governor rosello. thay after the president left, they recognize theumber nt up to 34. when he answered trump's questi, it iry unlhedid not knoo 16 a.ain, that is just highlighg the numbe and the entire situation has beensued to serve rossello's political endand the citalists that are taking over the islala. the other poor that news to be taken into csideration, like u mentioned, the number of aths sce juary has
continued to increase du maria. not only the suicide rates, but stuff literally fli on people and killing them. power plants blowingp and ire tcd kill and e ped to h cause of t lack of the inappropriate resources. we te to accnt those indirect dths. we're in the thousands. ancoming into the next hurricane seon, irastructure isllery weakened. there's is a lot of debris o the streets. the water has not been restored everywhere. e e electricity s not t be restored everywhwhere. the bow system that goes fr ththe main islan still n not functioning pperl d state.n a very weaken juan: the harbor study goes from september 20 until december 31,
yethere were hundreds of thousandnds of people in january an february th still do no have electrity sohere were unubtedly othedehs tha occurred in the early part of this year as well. >>orrect. and there are ill some that happened aouple of weeks ago dictlyau of my like a mentiterally stoplight fell and the pn th h recently died. deaths d continuous inctly to the hurricane and its impact on infrastructure. ask you,mi, i wawant to you first did in article and now this book in ter of what you saw when you wt down to puerto co. also, how mu of puto ro ha into onour y main eses that you have developed over the years of disaster catalism? >> well, i was there with elizabeth and we were lucky
engh tbe shown around to somearts of the country by katia. we saw people in february havg to travel very long ways to plug rly irgen machines. le. they still do venot ha electricity. this goes to the point b deaths were continuing after the count stopped for this particular study. i'm struck by this rase that these are deaths due to huane maria. hricanetue t maria. it is the catalyst, but if you look at the study, the cause of death in so many of e cas -- the largest cae was the collapse of the alth care system, which is intimely tied to the collapse of the electricy system, ich is tied to the collse of the water system. a totalbout
infrastructure failure. it did not just fail. a total society does not have its frastructure fail unlessu st every suppor structurend you do sonowingly keep thinkg about this phrase from fourecades ago by the great late investigative journast rph argentinn or of instigative journalists - journalism and so many ways. when he wadescribed in the economic policies of argentina's milita, he called it planned misery i think that applies so much to whs going on in puerto rico ght now. this has been a planned system of ia rati. maria comes alg and it is just iq searching for phrase to describe this. it is t a natural disaster, not ju a tragedy, it is state-sponsored mass killing.
maybe there wasn't the intent to kill, but there was the knowledge tt the inastructure was being destyed. and even after we see the resultsdead result of it, they are doing it still. this comes t to at y're asking me about how this fits into what i've writt in the past about disaster citalism and the shock doctrine. even after seeing the effects of ch brutal austerity and the thousandof lives that we taken, whais the rponse? more of the same. hugeoses oaustery there pushing righnow trying to close hundreds of schoo, more layoffs, more neglect. and thcost of this is unted in thousands and thousds of watts. amy: i want to go to the white house press briefing tuesday. so huckabee sanders was ask aboupuerto rico. president still
think his response to the hurricane in puerto rico desees a 10 hour -- now that timates a almost 5000 people died? >> the federal response once again was at a siste proportio of stuff we're continue to wor with theeople of puerto rico and do the best we can to provide federal assistance are particularly working with the governor there in puerto rico and we will continue to do so. >>s there any concern about the massive volume of the death toll there? amy: therere thehe reporters asking about the volume of t death toll. the white house spokesperson saying, doing the beste can. abetizyeamerre? emis undstand is a a vacuum i in people instead f rebuilng. we know even before t hurricane, lots of people we beinpushed out opuerto rico so many of them move into central fla. 2020, i think something like 60000 puerto ricansilha been pushed out of the islan we know re iw york cy, those peopleho are in
tempmpory shelterso faced with eviction. e'ivg under the worst s.f circumst get get frisk when they into their homes. they he to show their id as if incarceration.me form of i think one the things that concerns us e most is th is effatinthe island isn oppouny to really privatiheir there are no people there, then it really makes it easier tates to support corporate interts. one of thehings i' been concerneddbout is what happens, those3 superfunseist inrto co. a lot ofhe toxic expure the people are being exposed to, atnes being addrsed by the u.s. government. those e u.s.orporate sitessnd t ase are that are managy u.s. corporations. at is another source of death fo rico.
.o it isiseally disappointing i also think there is t a lot ths be ig expecteded of the u.s. government in this situation. we saw what happen in new orleans. we saw howeople were treated in new orleans. people in ertoico have not faredetter than that. wou we come back from break, we're going to ke a little of the triwith youhat naomi kleinnd elizabeth ampierre went on in puer rico when they folwed you, katia, and others. we' talkingo now me klein. this is boo "the battle for radise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitts elizabetyeamre is co-cha of the climateustice alliance. and katia aviles-vazquez is a puerto rican envonmental acvist. she is with the group borua nization for ecological riculture. baback in a momoment.
amy: "resilience." thiss democracy now!, democracynow.orge war and peace report. i'm goodmawith juan goalez. i wanted to follow-, elizabeth, before the break, you were talking about the feral response. ote of the things thatolks ot much work pay much attention to is the trump's federal communications recently decided that they we going to shply reduce the lifeline project, which most people are not aware of, but a lifeti project is a project that provides cell phone and brbrdbdbd svices toow-income american there are 500,000 people in puerto rico who receive that line. it is a government subdy for communications. we'll talk about the communications cattrophat occurred in puerto rico, but 369,000 people in puto rico
are ing to losehis ds 500,0 receive this service. through in a 69,000 wille cut off as a result of this decision. they will not have access in an emergency ation like this. another example of how in n many diffent ways the federal government failing the pple of puerto rico. intesting,'re living in the age of climate chan. everyone talking about climate adtation, resilicy, building one of thesion -- ceral things to making it possle for people to svive recurrent extreme weather events is aoocounication system. we just finished heari about a report where people lost their live because they had no access thould not get access to th care. they could not g access -- is that diabetes and they needed medical care that andmantling diminishg that, it really increasee ances at more people are going to die in
increases vulnability, cesion.ocial it is an attack on the puerto rica people. think people think of communications as they don't see the relationship between the ability for people to ha access to all of their needs ththugh syste and their rvival. there a direct relationip. that is just one o othe many things thahat is happeningng i puerto rico to make it impossible for pple toake it through. amy: let's try for a momento an excerpt of "the battle for paradise." it is a short documentary by naomi klein inhe intercept. >> tonight maria's direct hit devastating puertoico. >> the biggest catastrophe imrteran history. >> evacuate or d. >> i've been reporting on large-scale disasters for two decades.s. r storms, wars, econoc downs. my fus is less othe fact of ese shocks than on how they're so often exploed. how governments, corpations,
and invtors have learned to take advantage of the despation and dtraction in e aftermath of the events to pu through radical polies, privatization, deregulation, and austerity laws that remake ciety ininhe interest of a tinylitete i saw it happen n in iraq aftetr thu.s. invasion when t the canvasa libertarian faasies.lblk ain inin new orleaeans after hurricane katrina when n the stm became t excuse to rapidly sh down blic schools and public hndce with more profitable turn it even before hurricane maria made landfall in september 2017, many puerto ricans woworried about another episode of this l lon story. about how the storm could be usk thor austerity-starved public services ando staff of damaged beachfront propertonhe cheek. -- on the cap.
>> as you can imagine,e were all tan -- the magnitude of this stor initially, the first couple of this we felt perhaps business could be wiped out. if i could speako the luxury side. surpring eugh, they di not see interest in the marketplace. welcome. we have doubleigh ceilin in the living room. >> the magic of this house is the gaen. the level osophisticationyet cariean flair. >> were you hearing from people who think eyan get a good deal in puerto rico because of the hurricane? >> absolutely. we call it pre-mia, post-maria. >> there's been a lot of talklk about disaster capitalism in
puerto rico and mamany plas in the world hit t by disters inn recent years. what makes puerto o rico different? stormhis mar historic occurs on top of an already existing major historic economic cris. people wer already in a kind of state of shock and severe economic policies were alrea beinplied. >> what are the waysys a crisis be pli tfitabl >> as you have written about in these moments, a lot of things are suended, expectations are change change going to be the privatization of public services. some speculate part of why the electricity company has been so slow in getting back up is they are preparing for privatization of all of it. gs le public transportation system. all of the services that were already weakened, difromsinves by the goverent system. because of the financial crisis, it is to be expected all of them will probably be sold
and probably at a very low price because now they can say, oh, because a maria, everything is devastated and broken. >> it is been the most devastating natural disaster over the last 400 years. the infrastructure suffered, communications suffered. i believe e that can be seen as a silverer lining of opportunit. >> i w wish to inform yoyou ofe of the highest impact initiatives for building a new and modern puerto ricoco, the transformation of our energy sysystem. over the next few days, a process will begin where prepa's assets will be sold that will transform the geneneration s system and less costly system for our people. >> i met with the governor just after the hurricane. saying i'm going to double down, quadruple down
because i believe in puerto rico. saying i'm going to double down, this is druple down to me, tis theinest h in the western hemisphere. this is the new pool we're putting in.n. you will see next-door there is a new hotel. there will be another new hotel. what the government is doing, has the chance to do, is a oncnce-in-a-lifetime opportunity to repair and rebuild the of a structure of the island. and if thehe infrastructure is built welcome if the electricity, the roads, the water is taken to 21st century levels gone back and only help us all. >> the big question hanging over the reconstruction is this -- who is puerto rico for? is it for puerto ricans or is it for outside investors and tourists? and after ectill trauma like hurricane maria, who has the right to make these fateful decisions because many puerto ricans haveheir own ideas
about how to replace their shattered infrastructure. and it isn't about selling it off for profit. it is about reimagining how the island generates energy, feeds itself, teaches its kids, and heheals the sick. a people's recovery. and like the shock doctrine, it was are ready underway before maria. >> 30 yeefenofng ounational territory. we have a commitment towardd sustainable development. solar power isis our first and sole energy source. just a few in 19 and nine -- just a few in 1999 will we arted with solar power. all of a sudden, after the hurricane, it was still running. people came here right after the hurricane to recharge their equipment. people came here with equipment for respiratory therapy. this was an energy oasis for the community.
immediately after the hurricane, we distribibuted over 10,00000 solar lamps to improve quality of life for the people. now we have thousands asking us for support. wewe want to help people unplug fromom the grid, from fossil fu. we should embrace transion to clean energy sources. solar is one. we have plenty of wind. we have waterpower. we have plenty of biomass that can be used as a source of energy to run our country. and i think casa pueblo, what we're doing, is not waiting for the government, not waiting for the u.s. congress. there is resistance from everywhere. we're going to do whatever is at reach to change that landscape and to tell the people of puerto rico a different future is possible.
>> welcome to our farm. >> it is beautiful. >> it is. >> it is green. we heard there had been so much damage to the forest. >> it was like a fire when a fire has passed. but now, well -- amy: that was the farm school director. from the documentary "the battle for paradise." it is by the intercept, featuring our guest naomi klein. naomi is the author of the new book "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalists." our other guests will rejoin in a moment. [music break]
i'm amy goodman wigonz. our guests for this hour, naomi klein, author of the new book "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalists." launchining the new book at cooper union along with our other guest and cohost, one gonzalez. puerto rico environmental activist katia avilés-vázquez, just up from san juan. d el anabeth yeampierre recte roseup anand co-chair of the climate justice alliance. juan: i wa o one of the things you mentioned in the documentary one of the amazing things that occurrgella as a result of maria as well is the foreclosure rate of housing in puerto rico. are 00 foreclosures in puerto rico
right now, an average of 14 families a day are into the foreclosure process in? and this enormous change in property ownership that is occurring on the island, again, fueled by the maria disaster. >> i think this goes to elizazabeth''s point about how efficiently people are being moved off island. in such basic things are not being done to keep people there, like being able to stay in your home or send your kids chool. the opposite is happening. people are being evicted from their homes. they don't need to be. amy: evicted from some of their darkened homes? >> yeah, and not darkened homes. in schools that parents and teachers have come together to repair are not being allowed to reopen. the reason why people are being forced off the island is because they have to send their kids to school, have to find housing.
as we saw in that clip from the documentary, there is a boom going on in luxury housing. there is all kinds of land grabs taking place. the prices are not collapsising for that, it they had collapsed before so there are all kind of bargains available. this is what we mean by disaster capitalism. the exacerbation of the very forces that turned this disaster into this massive human catastrophe. amy: you mention this before when your piece came out "the battle for paradise" with bitcoin, the blockchain entrepreneurs that see puerto rico as their playground, as this is the future. >> puerto rico has been seen as an opportunity for the most privileged. it is been exploited for so many years. it is not new, just extreme now. we are seeing people are descending on the island,
even froksthe diaspora who haved toteroperty and the puerto rico arare being stopped from doing that even when they bring cash. it is almost like they're putting it all on locked down so they can put it on sale for another kind of buyer. so the combination of the foreclosures, which is super important -- i'm so happy you brought that up because literally, there is no suspension of regulations and rules in the case ofther erevent to m positble to ensure people's livability and to make sure people can stay in their communities. and that combined with every thing else is really desi toust push people out. we are the descendents of what is called ecos population. this happened generations ago to our grandparents when they came here. that was to create opportunity for you as economic interest industry, the petrochemical industries come to wipe out the agricultural sector. that was them before.
and now it is happening more on a greater scale. i think all of these things are absolutely related post of the idea is we're going to be displaced. we saw it happen in new orleans were people were pushed out of new orleans, african-american communities that were there since slavery. now what you see our white communities and transportation amenities that should of been serving historical black communities are not there for them now. those communities have b bn spread all o over the place. i think the same thing is happening in puerto rico, but a larger scale. juan: katia, and t terms of the hope and the resistance of the population, cialpe around issues of sustainable development and power, what have you seen on the ground in terms of how people have been mobilized to find solutions for themselves? >> before i go into that, i would to highlight the eviction notices have gone to farmers, too, right after the hurricane. just at the moment when they are the weakest,
a group of farmers received the eviction notice to leave their farms. it has been going on -- we have had all of the land, almost all of the land in puerto rico is at a threat since promesa and since the hurricane, it is, like a fire sale. one of the main things we have been doing is try to get back up. if we're losing land, we're losing homes, the we need to take land and take homes. one thing that is occurring to people joining collectively to occupy spaces. there are a couple of spaces have en occupied. a group of families took over a shutdown school and have been actually retrofitting it so they can turn it into housing. that is one of the most beautiful examples. but grassroots groups got together to support each other. that is the reason the death count is not higher than it is. it is precisely because people got together to help each other, we brought each other food and water.
amy: i want to go to one more clip of the intercept documentary "the battle for paradise." the president of the teachers federation of puerto rico speaking about the secretary of education's approach to rebuilding puerto rico o schools after r hurricane maria. > as you would imagine, a secretary having some kind of sensibility toward our p populatation in saying lelet's open schools, let's comfort the children, g the teachers back. that is that what happened. immediately after the hurricane, the first thing she said is, this hururricane gives me the perfect opportunity to do the reform that i wanted to do but was not able to. we learned from the experience of katrina was was talking about. amy: that is president of the teachers federation of puerto rico, katia. >> in addition to housing, there is also been brigades going out to all of the different forms within the islands.
supporting the farmers. emotionally, it has a toll not only physically to see the work you been working on for years disappear overnight. so having that eonpport,lteg and trying to get people off the grid and taking advantage of her most important resource, which is the son. the other one is this grassroots groups have been popping up that are supporting each other and are then time together, linking with each other. there are a couple of initiatives that have come post-maria. they got together in another area that has a long history of struggle and social organization. one of the things the group is working on is linng all of these groups that are resisting that are facing this capitalist. juan: elizabeth, i would ask you about the response of the diaspora in the united states. clearly, not only the beginning of hurricane season,
coming up this sunday. last year all the corporate sponsors pulled out because the parade was having oscar lopez rive the freed political prisoner marching in the parade. this year, what do you expect happening at the parade and also, in general, the response of puerto ricans in the united states of what is happening on the island? >> thank you for that question. what we are doing is selector what katia raised them as part of our power pr, a national initiative launched october 11 by climate justice alliance and a lot of our organizations, we sent five brigades to puerto rico and in new york city week raided our power pr n.y.c., puerto rican diaspora response to sustain engagement puerto rico for the long-term. we knew immediately that there would be disaster,
but we also knew there was more disaster coming and everybody was really focusing on what was immediate. we were really invested in the long-term. we have done a number of actions, both direct actions, rallies, protests, town hall meetings. the puerto rican day parade, i think we were really disappointed that we wantnted to have a meetg with the board of directors thatat this parade needed to be a direct action, the entire parade really needed to be raising attention on a national scale on every thing that was happening in puerto rico. it is one of those parade say gets national attention. we thought it was not time for celebration. they told us that would be honoring one town like they always do. we felt like it was the miss america contest. so we really needed to focus on 78 municipalities, that it wasn't enough to do one, d to ell the local narrative of what was happening in every town in puerto rico. our power pr n.y.c. will be in the parade
llin the story of colonialism, talking -- telling the story of disaster capitalism. we will be bringing an activists and community's from all five boroughs and new jersey and connecticut. and our contingent will deliver that message. but in terms of puerto rico, we are concerned about the debt, concerned about austerity, concerned about promesa. meetings are not happening import or go, but new york and wall street. amy: you h have a partnership between colonialism and capitalism. naomi, you write a lot about this, for example, >> important point is the numberers around the death toll and some of which of it being the result of a collapsed health care system, we hear from the governor that,
oh, everything will be fixed with privatization. this is the line. it will be modern, efficient, all of the problems are due to the system being public. the health care system was already splintered and privatize and chopped up and they have done it with health care with a want to do with electricity, what they want to do it transportation in so many ways. it -e lasthing we can say is it has been efficient and modern or effective in any way. you mentioned -- the book that is, is 100% a fundraiser for this remarkable network of more than 60 puerto ric groups. i want to thank my publisher haymarket for getting this also quickly, for doing it as 100% fundraiser, all of oytig touerto rico. amy: and in english that means? >> "the people together." it is a direct response to this predatory system
that has descended on the island to exploit the disaster. the reason why the strategy is used is because these investors know that when people are in that state of emergency that is ongoing, it is very hard to engage in political action to organize. the most inspiring thing i found in puerto rico, which, frankly, sets ifromar t, is that deep level of political organization that predates the storm, that allowed people to respond even when the lights were still out, to come together in remarkable ways and to start developing a people's platform. not just saying no to disaster capitalism, doing that -- we've seen huge protests on may day, facing enormous oppression and resistance, send we dodon't want that, but wewant ts. that is what katia's work is all about with the food system. wanto encourage people if they are in new york to come to cooper union tonight and hear more from elizabeth and katia.
we will also have a representative from the teachers union and just to find out more about this and to support the groups in puerto rico who are putting forward. amy: juan. one of the issues you speak about, this issue of colonialism, of colonialism of the dead, of the relationship between the united states and puerto rico. juan: anreale y that, as you are saying, the infrastructure was so weakened for so many years, ththat when hurricane hit, it made it worse. there was a recent general accounting office report that came out that looked at the financial crisis in puerto rico. it examined 20 of the biggest bond issues that were issued by puerto rico. it found 16 of them were just used to refinance debt. they were issuing debt to pay debt.
in the wall street firms had to know that this is not kosher, this is not the way bon ng d pil expenditures. thll street firms very well haewpuerto rico did not have the ability to continue issuing this debt, but they underwrote it because they were making big fees and figure the day of reckoning would come way after the government had left office and the particularcial finan officials from these banks that issued the debt, after they were gogone. so this was a constant problem that we have had in terms of the colonial relationship with puerto rico thatat this off the books operation in puerto rico is allowed to continue to function for so long. amy: katia, your challenging the monoculture in puerto rico. brought especially to focus when you saw what happen with the hurricane and what people needed afterwards. >> correct. it was just a sin to see so many former suffering
when you have land to grow and the sun. the way we farm was assimilated or turnend are the u.s. government to serve the purposes. so one of the things is we need to sell chemical products make sure that we have puerto ricans as consumers. it is been part of the u.s. policy to have the caribbean as an appendage so they can sell more, particularly food. grapefruit was substituted for potatoes. ed to vingha ly sonrving farmers, but we saw so month given just water to their babies, which can be deadly, not only for many reaeasons, right? but then at the same time, farms had to throw away thousands of gallons of milk because there was no way to pasteurize them because the plants were shut down. this happen all the way into february and march. so the impact of having a monoculture system and a focus on scale was huge for our farmers.
however, the counterpoint hat waiselec the agricological farmers, the that had intercropping, wereble to see their families, a actualie commcenty s near and to provide food for the collective lunch preparation process. the other thing that happened was the markets, the agricological markets could step up almost immediately to sta cing th people and it became a hub for support. maybe not that many greens were on the table, but seeingng the farmers seeing the customer was very important people to heal. amam i want toto thank you alall for being with us.s. ricto environmentalnt activist katia avilés-vázquez, naomi klein, author of "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalist," and elizabeth yeampierre, executive director of uprose and co-chair of the climate justice alliance. they're all speaking tonight along with juan gonzalez.
that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is accepting applications for our paid video production fellowships. find out more at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to email@example.com or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible