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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 6, 2018 3:00pm-3:57pm PDT

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06/06/18 06/06/18 [captioning made possible by democracy amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> 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? after a collective,e, like hurricane mararia, who hahs thee righght to make e these fal dedecisions? am anew w rrice e seas begins in puerto rico, we spend the hour looking at the fufuture of the island following last
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year's devastating storm. just last week, a study by harvard put the death toll at 4645 -- 70 times the official count. we will speak to naomi klein, " battlele for paradise: puerico takes on t the disasteter capitalists," as well as elizabeth ympierrd rican environmental activist katia aviles-vazquez. >> a lot of farmers are starving, even know they have an amazing amount of land, that nothing to harvest. before, traditional agricultural forms would be into crops with oranges and bananas and plain chains, and that provides for your family. amy: all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. 'm y goodman. voters headed to the polls day for primaries in alabama, california, iowa, missis monsippi,na, new jersey, new mexico, and south dakota. in california, democratic lieutenant governor and foformer san francisco mayor gavin newsom won the democratic primary for governor. he'll face off against republican businessman john cox, who is backed by president trump,novemb's gubernatorial race in california. this is gavin newsom speaking onsday tueueight. >> we are e gaged in a an epic battle. it looooks like vovoters will ha realhoicee t this novemember te 20 governorr who is going to stand up to donald trump a if aoldier in iscaia. amy: democratic california senator dianne feinstein won her primary race, though it remains unclear who she will face in november's general l election. tuesday was a big night for female candidates. in new mexico, former democratic
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state party leader deb holland won her congressional democratic primary, putting her on track to become the first native american congresswoman in u.s. history. she is an enrolled member of the pueblo of laguna and is running on a pro-immigratila opposing trump's border wall and advocating foror the abolition f the immigration and customs enfoforcement agency, known as ice. this is deb holland speaking tuesday night. >> our wing is a victory for working people, a victory for indiana victory for country. [cheers] and a victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class. amy: oths wh won tuesday night include iowan democrats cindy ax-nee and abby finkenauer. iowa has never before sent a
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woman to the house of representatives. in south dakota, congresswoman kristi gnome won the republican gubernatorial primary, makaking her lilikely to become sououth dakota's first female governor. meanwhile, in alabama, republican congresswoman martha roby was fd unf to save percy after she took political l 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 vote for a ssn pr and boastsout t sexualg me e will now face a july runoff against former democratic congressmember bobby bright, who is now running as a republican and has attacked roby for not backcking president trump p durg the 2016 election. epa administrator scott pruitt is aga facing controversy over a slew of new political scandals. "the washington post" srt pruiortt hadr scher contact the chief executive of chick-fil-a seeking to set up a personal meeting about the possibility of pruitt's wife, marilyn, opening a f franchise f
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the fast food chain. the revelation is based on emails obtained by a freedom of information act t firequesd by the sierra c club. the nerk tim" reports that p pruitt attendndea university of kentucky basketball game last decemembern seats belonging to joseph w. craft ii bili, theonaire coal executive who is aggressivghtina les limiting coal ut pruitt is also f faccriticm after congressional transcripts surfaced showing he had one of his aides go apartment hunting for him, in violation of federal ethics standards that prohibit personal assistance by a subordinate. the aide was also instructed to try to get pruitt a used mattress from the trump international hotel. interestingly, back in 2015, the mattress company stta dumped trump's matches lined. the united nations has slammed the united states for its practice of separating migrant
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children from their parents at the border, saying the practic violates international l is is vina shamdasani of the united nations office for human rights. >> the u.s. should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalizing what should at most be admininistrative offense, that f the regular entry and stay in the u.s. e's nothing noal detaining children. as i said, the tension is never in the best interest of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation. it is been a criminanal offense, be administrativeoffensallyd oet warrantaihildal ay:horities reportedly separated at least 600 immigrant children from their parents last month, sparking widespread outrage e ad internatioional condemnation. the immigration and customs
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enforcement agencyknown as ice, raided a gardening and landscaping company in ohio and detained 114 undocumented immigrants tuesday. the workers at corso's flower & garden center are expected to face criminal charges, including identity theft and tax evasion. nine people arrested on seattle at arotest amending billionaire developer martin selig stop leasing to ic border patrol, and the seattle immigration court. the protesters with the group northwest detention center resistance locked themselves together and blockaded traffic outside one of his buildin for nearly two hours. the whitdusesenkore leader kim jong-un will meet at the five-star capella hotel on singapore's sentosa island for their proposed june 12 summit. the location's announcement tuesday comes after president trump said friday he would hold the summit aftfter canceling the
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only one week before. just a day after abruptly canceling a white house visit with super bowl-winning philadelphia eagles, donald trump hosted a mar cethe team tuesday,y, singing the national america" by thehe video showeded trump did not knw alofof the worords. tuesday's event was planned after trump canceled the eagles visit on monday n night tweeting -- ckeryioom for anthem is as disrespectful as -- to o our country as kneeling. sorry." not a single eagles player now it during the national anthem in the 2017 season.n. on james of the cleveland cavaliers and steph curry of the golden state warriors hahave boh stated that they will not accept an invitation to the white house should their teams win the nba playoffs. in india, millions of farmers are in the middle of a 10-day strike to demand debt relief and higher prices for their produce. the strike, launched on june 1,
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has caused vegetable prices to jump as much as 10% in major indian cities as farmers withhold their produce from markets. the ongoing protest spans eight states across india, most of which are ruled by prime minister narendra modi's bjp party. it follows a similar strike last year, during which police shot and killed five striking f farms in the centralal state of madhda pradesh exactly one year agogo today. er s saudien wbie grandrcenseses mondayay j just two weeks before saudi i government is s nally slatated to lift the ban o on wn drdriving natiwidede. but some of the activists who fought to liftft the ban remainn prison after the saudi of tvernment a arrested at leaex he cou'st pront ndreds of people lt month. reissing aftol eruption 25 miles southwof the capital l guatemala city has buried whole villages in lava. the eruption of the fueg
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volcano -- which means fire -- has killed at let 75 people so far, with officialrning the death toll is expected to continue rising. in a victory for gay rights, t't ll 28 memberer countries of the european union must recognize same-sex marriages in questions of residency rights and afford foreign spouses of eu citizens the right to live and workrk in the european union. the plaintiff in the case, a romanian married to an american man, said after the ruling, "we can now look in the eyes of any public official in romania and across the e.u at the certainty that our relationship is equally valuable and equally relevant for the purpose of freeovemen within the e.u." k city, real estate conference fa er the attendance of private prison companies. geo group and corecivic converted in 2013 to real estate
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investment trusts or reet's to avte taxes. the republican tax plan also offers a 25% tax cut on in prisons. this is daniel carrillo. > the coalition between this lobby and the increase in nceraon, anddlization atent ant toreak the cycle. amy: also in new york city, growing nunumber of residents ad community groups are calling on the cicity of new york to create its own public tank divest from wall street banks that are financing fossil fuel extraction and prprivate prprison companie. runsisss america organization, pageant, says the competition will no longer judge contestants based on their physical looks,ln longer ilu in dbeiradersh af ricae event. tiorgani was forced to resign after the huffington post d a puries of emails in which the organizatio' its employees referred to the
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women contestants as the c-word and malcontents, called former winner gretchen carlson a snake, and shamed another former winner t her ain. g in calalifornia, judgege aaron persky was recalled from office tuesday,y, two years after h he outarge for entatacing suniverty r brock turner to a six-month prison term for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. turner was caught by two witnesses thrusting on top of the victim as she la unconscious behind a dumpster. but judge persky said he was ha a serious impact on turner, who is white. judge persky later gave a harsher sentence to a latino man lar whime. it is thrs sin 1932 that california voters have chosen to recall a sitting judge. toeeull verage of the derg.acco to miotcoressman keith ellison has announced he's nnesing for attorney general in a. elliisstuslim
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elected to congress in the united states. he also serves as the deputy raaiti committee. legendary artist and musician nuriddin, known to many as "the grandfather of rap," has died at the age of . he was annspition for miles dathers. he's performing "white man's got b just wa me because i aini't your kind you can't dou ain't ve around. the's e t a god complex.
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amy:his is democracy now!, democrowthe war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. olisteners eranvifrom ar tund the world. hurricane season is officially underway. and today we spend the hour continues to recover from it hurricane maria, which devavastated the island last september. researchers at harvard recently revealed teal fr hurric a staggering than aleath toll still t thdsnew studyesmates a death t omet ojs topp57 this is one of the report's co-authors, dr. domingo marques of carlos albizu university. 4645. to tell you in n our study, we found in terms of the people who
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sufferro hcane, was due to the fact the average puerto ric wasas exposed to 84 days withoutut electric power. moreover, than 60 days without drinkin water, which huge public health problem. it was morore than 40 days for e average person without cellular communications. so just those three things gives reasons to the mortambs. 911 was not only not woworking n small towns, it was down in all of puerto ricoco. when you think about those things, you can understand why the number was so high. amy: president trump has so far not responded to the new study. but in october during a visit to puerto rico, trump boasted abo the low official death count. pres. trump: now, i hate to tell you, puerto rico, but you have thrown our budget a little out of whack because we have spent a lot of money on puerto rico and that is fine. we saved a lot of lives. -- every death is a horror. if at a real ca like katrina and you
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look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of teople that died and you lo n heat with, really, a storm that was just totally overbearing. nobody has ever seen athing like this. what is your death count as of this moment, 17? >> 16. pres. ump: 1ople verses in the thousands. you can be very proud of all of your people, all of our people working togetherer. 16 verses literally thousands of people. t truthat was presisident he trse towels to some of the residents of san juan. cable news networks areacin criticism for spending far m timeoverg the "roseanne" story than the study that found at least 4645 people died in puerto rico because of the hurricane. accocording to media matters, te
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main cable news network's covered roseanne for over 10 hours in the f d coverage. they can't hurricane maria's death toll in puerto rico for justr 30 mutes. fox news been just 48 seconds covering the puerto rico story. san juan mayor carmen yulilin cz posted online "never forgotten. never again." amy: for me , roundtable discussion. we're joined by naomi klein, author, journalist, and a senior correspondent 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 politics and winning the world we need," "this changes everything: capitalism vs. the climatshocan doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism." also joining us is katia aviles-vazquez, a puerto rican environmenacnd member of a sustainable farming resource group called the
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boricua organization f ecological agriculture, which is part of the climate justice alliance. elizabeth yeampierre, executive director of uprose, brooklyn's oldest latino community based organization. she is also co-chair of the climate justice alliance. you have just come from the island ,katia. you are there when the harvard study came out. it is not that a lot of people on the island were not saying -- it is the opposite of what trump said at the time. he is consulting the governor and said, 16, 17 people died. is right d now this number, maybe 4600, maybe 5700 people who have died host up was that your sense of things? as we move intos nehi hurricane season, what are yourr major concerns right now? >> the first thing is to highlight the center for investigative journalism. they were the first was to document and call out what we we all feeling in new and had
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seen, which is we died in the thousands. i think it is important to highlight their work, particularly, they were able t gain a victory yesterday to have acce to thnumber of deaths. the 4645 number is -- juan: a judge ordered the governor of puerto rico to finally release the numbers. >> that came done yesterday, yes. we knew it was going to be in thoue nds. i ink it is important to not focus on whether it is 4645 or 5700 because we knew it was going to be the thousands. the study remains within moh window, whics october, november, december. it looks specifically at the survey they were doing. it doesn't necessarily count all of the people that went at a
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time, that maybe could have lasted a little longer and suffered before they finally met bodies gave up because they could not take the heat or the lack of food. i think it is important that highlights not only that it was kept secret, but the fact it was kept secret to serve a political agenda in the case of governor rosello. that day after the president ft, they recognize the number went up to 34. ', ithe answered trumps did not know the number was not 16 already. again, that is just highlighting the numbers and the entire situation has been usurped to sessel's political agenda and the capitalists that are taking over the island. the other poor that news to be taken into consideration, like you mentioned, the number of deaths since january has
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continued to increase due tomari not only the suicide rates, but stuff literally falling on people and killing them. power plants blolowing up and catching fire e and killing people. and the people have continued to die because of the l lack of the inappropriate resources. we take into account those indirect deaths. we're in the thousands. and coming into the next hurricane season, infrastructure is still very weakened. there's is a lot of debris on the streets. the water has not been restored everywhere. the electricity has not been restored everywhere. the bow system that goes from the main island still not functioning properly. d state.n a very weakenee juan: the harbor study goes from september 20 until december 31, yet there were hundreds of thousands of people in january
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and february that still do not have electricity so there were undoubtedly other deaths that occurred in the early part of this year as well. >> correct. and there are still some that happened a couple of weeks ago indirectly because of my like a mention, literally a stoplight fell and the person that it hit centlyied. deaths had continuous indirectly to the hurricane and its impact on infrastructure. ask you,mi, i i want to you first did in article and now this book in terms of what you saw when you went down to puerto rico. also, how much of puerto rico has fit into one of yourn theses that you have developed over the years of disaster capitalism? >> well, i was there with elizabeth and we were lucky
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enough to be shown around to some parts of the country by katia. we saw people in february having to travel very long ways to plug in their oxygen machines. elderly people. theyll do not have electricity. this goes to the point b deaths wetinure cong after the count stopped for this particular study. i'm struck by this phrase that these are deaths due to hurricane maria. hurricanedue to maria. it is the catalyst, but if you look at the study, the cause of death in so many of the cases the largest cause was the collapse of the health care system, which is intimately tied to the collapse of the electricity system, which is tied to the collapse of the water system. frastructure failure.a t it did not just fail.
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a total society does not have s tructure fai unless you systematically knock out every support structure and you do so knowingly. i keep thinking about this phrase from four decades ago by the great late investigative journalist rudolph oh walsh, the argentinian inventor of investigative journalists -- journalism and so many ways. when he was described in the economic policies of argentina's military, he called it planned misery. i think that applies so much to what is going on in puerto rico right now. this has been a planned system of them is a ration. maria comes along and it is just the final blow. iq searching for phrase to describe this. it is not a natural disaster, not just a tragedy, it is state-sponsored mass killing. maybe there e wasn't the inteteo
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kill, but there was the knowledge that the infrastructure was being destroyed. and even after we see the relts, the deadly result of it, they are doing it still. this ces to what you're asking me about how this fits into what i've written in the past about disaster capitalalism and the shock doctrine. even after seeing the effects of such brutal austerity and the thousands of lives that were taken, what is the response? more of the same. huge doses of austerity there pushing right now trying to close hundreds of schchools, moe lalayoffs, more neglecect. and the cost of this is counted in thousands and thousands of watts. amy: i want to go to the white house press briefing tuesday.y. so huckabee sanders was asked about puerto rico. presi s the thinhis response to the
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hurricuert prico dees a 1 hour -- now that estimates a almost 5000 people died? >> the federal response once again was at a sister proportion of stuff we're continue to work thetheople of puerto rico and do the best we can to provide federal atance e particularly working with the governor there in puerto rico and we will continue to do so. >> is there any concecern about the massivive volume of the deah toll there? amy: there are the reporters asking about the volume of the deatlle house spokesperson the e can. eth ampierre? fema a is understand is a vacuum in people i instead of rebuilding. we know even before the hurricane, lots of people were being pushed out of puerto rico so many of them move into central florida. 2020, i think something like 600,000 puerto ricans will have been pushed out of the island. we know here in new york city, those people who are in temporary shelters are also faced with eviction.
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they're living under the worst kind of circumstances. get get frisked when they into their homes. they have to show their id as if they are in some form of incarceration. i think one of the things that concerns us the most is that this effort of evacuating the island is an opportunity to really privatize the entire island. there are no people there, then it really makes it easier for the united states to support corporate interests. one of the things i've been concerned about is what happens, for example, with those 23 superfund set exist in puerto rico. a lot of the toxic exposure the people are being exposed to, none of that is being addressed by the u.s. government. those are u.s. corporate sitessts and those are that are managed by u.s. corporations. that is another source of death for people in puerto rico. .osot is really disappointing
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i also think there is not a lot that is being expected of the u.s. government in this situation. we saw what happened in new orleans. wewe saw how people wewere tread in new orleans. people in puerto rico have not fared better than that. amy: would we come back from break, we're goioing to take a little of the trip with you that naomi klein and elizabeth yeampierret in puerto ri when they followed you, katia, and others. we're talking to now me klein. this is the book "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalists." elizabeth yeampierrehair i of the climate justice alliance. and katia aviles-vazquez is a puerto rican environmental activist. she e is with the groupup borica organizatition for ecological agriculture. back in n a moment. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
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report. i'm amamy goodman with juan gonzalez.. juan: i wanted to follow-up, elizabeth, before the break, you were talking about fe one of the things that folks have not got much or pay much attention to is the trump's federal communications recently decided that they were going to sharply reduce the lifeline project, which most people are not aware of, but a lifetime project is a project that provides cell phone and broadband services to low-incomerican there are 500,000 people in puerto rico who receive that lifeline. it is a government subsidy for communications. we'll talk about the communications catastrophe that occurred in puerto rico, but 369,000 people in puerto rico are going to lose this -- 500,000 receive this service. through in a 69,000 will be cut off as a result of this decision.
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they will not have access in an emergency situation like this. another example of how diff inent wa the federal government is failing the people of puerto rico. >> wisntesting, we're living in the age of climate change. everyone talking about climate adaptation, builreliohes n -- one of the central things to making it possible for people to survive recurrent extreme weather events is a good communication system. we just finished hearing about a report where people lost their lives because they had no access to communication. they could not get access to health care. they could not get access -- if they had diabetes and they needed medical care. so by dismantling that dimi shing ththat, it really increases the chances that more people are going to die in increases vulnerability, destroys social cohesion. it is an attack on the puerto rican people.
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i think people think of communications as they don't see the relationonship between the ability for people to have access to all of their needs ththrough that sysand ween eir survival.for people there is a direct relationship. that is just one of the many things that is happening in puerto rico to make it impossible for people to make it through. amy: let's try for a moment to an excerpt of "the battle for paradise." it is a short documentary by naomi klein in tnterce. >> tonight maria's direct hit devastating puerto rico. >> the biggest catastrophe importer can history. >> evacuate or die. >> i've been reporting on large- scale disasters fofor two decad. super storms, wars, economic meltdowns. my focus is less on n the fact of these shocks than on how they're so often exploited. how governments, corporations, and investors have learned to take advantage of the desperation and distraction
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in the aftermath of these events to push through radical policies, privatization, deregulation, and austerity laws that remake society in the interest of a tiny elite. i saw it happen in iraq after the u.s. invasion when the country was treated as a blank canvas, a a libertarian fantasies.s. again inin new o orleans after hurricane katrina when the stormrm became t the excuse to rapidly shut down public schoolols and pupublic houousing and replace them w with more prorofitable turn it is. even before hurricane maria made landfall in september 2017, many uerto ricans worried about another episode of this long story. about hohow the stororm could be used to attack their austerity-starveved public services and to staff of damaged beachfront p property on the cheap. >> as you can imagine, we were all taken --
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the magnitude of this storm. initially, the first couple of days, we felt perhaps this business could be wiped out. if i could speak to the luxury side. surprisingly enough, they did not see any loss of interest in the marketplace. >> welcome. we have double high ceilings in the living room. >> the magic of this house is the garden. the level of sophistication, yet caribbean flair. >> were you hearing from people who think they can get a good deal in puerto rico because of the hurricane? >> absolutely. we call it pre-maria, post-maria. >> there's been a lot oaboudisaster capitalism in puerto rico and many places in the world hit by disasters in recent years. what makes puerto ricoco differen
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>> this major historic storm occurs on top of an alreadydy existing major historic economic crisis. people were already in a kind of state of shock and severe economic policies were already being applied. >> what are the ways a crisis like this can be profitable? >> ahaveu ritten about in these moments, a lot of things are suspended, exexpectations are chahanged. laws can be passed and things can be put into place that otherwise wou ldot have been accept. i think right now the main thing -- it was already on the horizon, going to be the privatization of public services. me speculate part of why it the electricity companyzon, things like public transportation system. all of the services that were already weakened, disisinvestment from by the government because of the financial crisis, e ex cted all of them will probably be sold
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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 tas40years. 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 l transform the geneneration s system into a modern, efficient, and less costly system for our people. >> i met with the governor just after the hurricane. saying i', quadruple
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because i believe in puerto rico. this is the beach. to me, this is the finest beach in the western hemisphere. this is the new pool we're putting in. you wiwill 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 once-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 a collective trauma like hurricane maria, who has the right to make these fateful decisions beusmany puerto ricans have their own ideas
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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, eds itlf, teaches its kids, and heheals the sick. ople'ry. and like the shock doctrine, it was are ready underway before maria. >> 30 years of histotory defendg our national territory. we have a commitment toward sustainable development. solar r power is our first and sole energy source. just a few in 19 and nine -- just a few in 1999 will we started 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. this was an energyis for the community.
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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 unpnpg fromom the grid,d, from fossil . we should embrace the transition 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 r our country. and i think casa pueblo, what we're doing, is not waiting for ththe 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.
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>> 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 ththe farm school director. from the documentary "the battle for paradise." erce ig ou guest naomi klein. naomi is the author of the new book "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalists."  [music break]
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amy: "when the revolution comes" by jalal mansur nuriddin, who has died the war and peace reportrt.
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i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. our guests for this hour, naomi klein, author of the new book "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalists." launchinper e ion withur other guest takes on the disaster and cohost, one gonzalez. puertoo envinmental activist katia avilés-vázquez, just up from san juan. and elizabetampier the executive director of uprose anand co-chair of the climate justice alliance. juan: i want to naomi, one of the things you mentioned in the documentary was who is puerto ricoco for. one of the amazing things that occurred largely as a result of maria as well is the foreclosure rate of hsing iero. 55,000 people who are in foreclosures in puto rico
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right now, an average of 14 families a day are intosure f press 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. inh basithings are not being done to keep people there, like being able to stay in your home or send your kids to school. 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? 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, havend hfising.
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as we saw hat clip from the documentary, there is a boom going on in luxury housing. there is all kinds of land grabs taking place. it they had collapsed be 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 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 itbeloitedso many years. it is not new, just extreme now. we are seeing people are descending on the island,
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even folks from the diaspora who have wanted to buy propertry thto rico are being stopped from doing that even when they bring cash. 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 of extreme weather event to make it possible to ensure people's livability and to make sure people can stay in their communities. and that combined with every thing else lly jusedpush people and to make sure people can stay in their communities. we are the descendents of what is called ecos populatio 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
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and now ing s cale 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 blackck communities are not there for them now. those communities have b bn spread all o othe r ace. i think the same thing is happening in puerto rico, . juan: katitia, and terms of the hope and the resistance of the population, especially 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 highl the eviction notices have gone to farmers, too, right after the hurricane. just at the whenhey are the,
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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 icane, it is, like a fire sale. one of the main things we have been doing is try to get back up. we're losing land, los g home, one of the main things we have been doing the we need to taknd d take homes. one thing that is occurring to people joining collectively to occupy spaces. there are a couple of spaces havatbeen occupied. a group of families took over a shutdown school anhave been actually retrofitting it so they can turn it into housing. that is one of the most beautiful examples. but grassroots groups got toer to pport 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.
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amy: i wan gneoreterct documentary "the battle for paradise." the president of the teachers federation of puerto rico speaking about the secretary of education's ch t rebuilding puerto rico schools afafter hurricane maria. some kind ofof sensibility toward our p population in saying lelet's open schools, let's comfort the children, bring the teachers back. that is that what happened. immediately after the hurricane, the first thing she said is, caneurriives me ththe 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.
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supporting the farmers. emotionally, it has a toll not only physically to see the work been rking on foars dippear overnight. so having that emotional support, bringing filters 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 artogeener, 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. ofe group is working on is linking 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 e beginning of hurricane season,
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but it is the annual puerto rican day parade coming up this sunday. last year all the corporate sponsors pulled out because the parade was having oscar lopez rivera, 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 happeng on the island? >> thank you for that question. what we are doing is selector what katia raisethem as part of our power p by clima j justice a alliance and a lot of o our organization, 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.
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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 wanted to have a meeting with the board of directors because we felt unlike other years that 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. e re foceeus pali that it wasn't enough to do one, and we needed to tell the local narrative of what was happening in every town in puerto rico. ouwe will be in the par
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and telling 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 conicut. and our contingent will deliver that message. but in of erto rico, we are concerned about the debt, concerned about austerity, concerned about promesa. meetings are not happeninimport or go, but new york and wall street. amy: you have a partnership between colonialism and capitalism. naomi, you wri lot about this, for example, the health care system. and some of which of it being the result of a collapsed health care system, we hear from the governor that
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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 what they want to do it in . it -e hing we can say is it s been efficient and modern or effective in. you mentioned -- the book that is, 00% a ra r emarkable ne of more than 60 puerto rican groups. i want to thank my publisher haymarket for getting ththis also quickl, for doing it as 100% fundraiser, all of the royalties going to puerto rico. amy: and in english that means? >> "the people together." it is a direct response to this predatory system
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that has descended on the island to exploit tis 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 politicction organize. the most inspiring thing i found in puerto rico, which, frankly, sets it apart from some of the disaster zones, deepisevel orgizatio thatredate the owed people to rd which, frankly, sets it apart from some of the disaster zones, 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 seehu protests o, facing enormous oppression and resistance, send we don't want that, but we do want this. that is what katia's work is all about with the food system. i want to encourage people if they are in new york to come to cooper union tonight and hear more from elizabeth and katia.
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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: andn. one of the issues u abou this issue of colonialism, of colonialism of the dead, of the relationship between the united states and puerto rico. juan: and the reality that, as you are saying, the infrastructure was so weakened for so manyears, ththat when hurricane hit, it made it worse. there was a recent general accounting office report th came out that looked at the financian puerto rico. it examined 20 of the biggest bond issues that wis by puerto rico. it found 16 hem we just used to refinance debt. they were issuing debt to pay debt.
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in the wall street firms had to know that this is not kosher, this is not the way you do bonding and capital expenditures. the wall street firms very well knew that puerto 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 particular financial officials from these banks ssd afr they were gogone. so this was a constant problem that we have had iner othe colonial relationship with puerico 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 enou saw what happen with the hurricane and what people needed afterwards. >> correct.
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when you have land to grow ane sun. the way we farm was assimilated or turned around are the over gent to serve the purposes. so one of the things is we need to sell chemical products make sure that we have puerto ricans s as consumers. it is been part of the u.s. policy e thcaribbean as an appendage so they can sell more, particarly food. grapefruit was substituted for potatoes. and what led to his havi t only starving farmers, but we saw so many months given just water to t b but then at the same time, 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 rs. f
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however, the counterpoint to that was precisely the agricological farmers, were able to actually link with the community centers nearby and to provide food for the collective h prncaration process. the other thinatappened e markets, the agricological markets could p alst ust immediately to start connecting with people and it became a hub for support. maybe not that many greens were on the table, but seeingng the farmers seeing the customer ry imp to for amy: i want toto thank you alall for being with us.s. puerto rican environmental activist katia avilés-vázquez, naomi klein, author of "the battle for paradise: puerto rico takes on the disaster capitalist," pierelecutr of "the battle e director of uprose rico anco-chair of the climate justice alliance. they're all speaking tonight along with juan gonzalez.
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