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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 17, 2020 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/17/20 06/17/20 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. trump: they have done fantastic work. new, pretty new, magnificent as s you've probably heard, we getting exact numbers, but we're close to one mimillion people wantiting to go. amy: president donald trump says he will push ahead with a
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massive indoor campaign rally in tulsa, o oklahoma, this satutury even as covid cases are already surging there. 99 years ago this month, tulsa was the site of the deadliesest massacre of african-americans in u.s. history when a white mob killed as many as 300 people. >> i will always remember four withoming in our house torches and my y moer saw thehem chihirendnd she put the under r the bed. and from under t the bed, weould see them m walking toto the curs and setting fire to the curtains to set our house on fire. amy: we will go to tulsa to speak with hannibal johnson, author of "black wall street: from riot to renaissance in tulsa's historic greenwood district." into the second-most economically unequal district in
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new york state, their bronx, where an insurgent campaign for congress is threatening to unseat 16-term congressmember and house foreign affairs committee chair eliot engel. >> this is the worst crisis since thgreat depression, and peop donon't know whether coreressmais?? he has taken us for grteted. after 31 years of the same, it is time for a change. amy: we'll speak with former middle school principal jamaal bowman, who has just been endorsed by senator elizabeth warren and is also backed by bernie sanders, alexandria ocasio-cortez, and "the new york times." and we will l look at movoves to privatize puertoto rico's electc grid as hurricane season begins again. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracycy now!,, the quarantine repoport. i'm amy goodman. in the unitedd states, 740 peope have died of coronavirusus over
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the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to nearly 117,000. more americans have now died from the virus than were killed in world war i. "the washington post" is reporting nine states reported single-day highs of covid cases tuesday, a n new seven-day avere highs.s. the states are alabama, arizona, florida, nevada, north carolina, oklahoma, oregon, south carolina, and texas. president trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally indoors in tulsa on saturday, despite warnings from public health officials. the director of the tulsa health department said he wishes trump would postpone the event. the oklahoma health commissioner has urged all attendees to get tested for covid and to wear face masks. two oklahoma lawyers have sued in an attempt to halt the rally saying the event will endanger the entire tulsa community. trump's visit comes as the administration continues to
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downplay the severity of the pandemic. they will not require face masks at the rally, but they are requiring liability waivers. people have to sign them in case they get covid-19 so they don't sue the trump campaign. the white house coronavirus task force has not held a briefing since april 27. meanwhile, "the wall street journal" says the number of covid deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities has now topped 50,000 in the united states. this comes as the number of covid-19 cases in prisons is skyrocketing. accordining to "the new york times," 68,000 prisoners have now been infected. the number has doubled over the past month. in arizona, the aclu and other groups have sued the maricopa county sheriff's office seeking the release of vulnenerable pepe from county jailils. in recent weeks, the number of confirmed covid cases in the county jail system has jumped
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from just to over 300 -- a 5000% six increase. meanwhile, covid outbreaks at memeatpacking plants continue eo grow. at least 89 meatpackers have died. in april, presidident trump ordered meatpacking plants to stay open despite the health ris. while the meatpacking industry has warned of possible shortages of meats, exports s meat has reached a new high. a new report reveals the united states exported nearly 129,000 tons of pork to china in april. that's the highest monthly amount ever. on the internationonal front, scientists in britain say new tests have shown a widely used steroid called dexamethasone can greatly reduce death rates among the most severely ill covid-19 patients. the world health organization described the findings as great news inin china, beijijing has closos schohools again anand canceled
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thousands ofof flights aftfter w covivid outbreak.. 106 beijing reresidents have tested positive over the past week. in india, the death toll has reached nearly 12,000 after authorities registered more than 2000 deaths on thursday. -- on tuesday. meanwhile, pakistan reported 140 people died over the past day -- a new dailily high. in latin america, president juan orlando hernandez z has announcd he h has tested positive f for coronavirurus along with his w e and two aides. hehernandez saidid he began to l unwell over the weekend. in australia, authorities have announced australia's borders will likely remain closed until 2021. meanwhile, the united states has announced its borders with mexico and canada will remain closed to non-essential travel for at least anonother m month. in other coronavirus news, a new study in the journal health affairs estimates as many as 450,000 cases of covid-19 could
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have been prevented if states had mandated the wearingngf face masks. presidenent donald trump has signed an executive ororder on policing f following m more than three weweeks of nationwide protests over the police killing of george floyd in minneapolis. the order calls for the creation of a national police misconduct database and to give federal grants to departments to improve training. trump resisted growing calls to back an outright ban on the use of police chokeholds. instead, the order calls on officers to only use them if they feel their lives are endangered. during an address at the white house surrounded by police officials, trump made no mention of systemic racism and sought to downplay the crisis. pres. trump: nobody is more opposed to the small numberr o f bad police officers -- and you have them. they are very tiny. i use the word "tiny."
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it is a very small percentage, but you have them. amy: civil rights leaders and legal advocates widely criticized trump's executive order. the reverend al sharpton called it toothless and m meaningless. kristen clarkekef the lawyers' committee for cicivil rights unr law described d it as anic. >> this order was incredibly anemic in that it does not d del with racial p profiling a and ds not impose a ban on chchokeholds and a cold anan does not and qualifified immunityty for offi, not strenengthen the tools thate need to hold officers accccountable a and make it pose to prosesecute officers who use deadlyly or excecessive force without basis. amy: protetests against police brbrutality and raracism are continuing across the country. in bridgeport, connecticut, dozens of protesters have entered their fifth day camped outsidide bridgeport police department. members of thehe group justice r jajayson are calling o on the pe chief to fire policece officer james boboulay, who shot dead 15-year-old jayson negron three
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years ago. jayson's sister jazmarie melendez is helping to organize the occupati. >> we are in a sta of emergenc we're no long g goingo wawait around for these people in power to lisn n to u w'rere going to occupy this spae til our domains are met. we will not be leaving. amy: in richmond, virginia, the mayor has ousted the city's police chief after richmond officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters on sunday and monday night. richmond officers had also tear-gassed protesters earlier this month as they peacefully gathered at a statue of confederate general robert e. lee. according to "the new york times," at least 97 law enforcement agencies have used some form of tear gas against civilians protesting in recent weeks. and in buffalo, new york, the 75-year-old peace activist martin gugino is continuing to recover after being shoved by two police officers on june 4. gugino has suffered a brain
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a fractured skull, and is still not able to walk. an active duty air force sergeant with ties to the far-right "boogaloo" movementt has been arrested for killing twtwo law enforcement officialsn california in rececent weeks. ststaff sgt. s steven carrillo s accused of shooting dead a federal security officicer in oakland during the protests over the popolice killiling of george floyd in may. later, carillo k killed a deputy sergeant in the e santa cruz county sheriff's office. his lawyer says the air foforce sesergeant had served in iraq qd afghanistan, andnd syria. fbi special agagent jack bennett spoke on tuesday. carillo clear, conducted this murder and take advantage of a time when this nation was morning the killing of george floyd. there is no evidence that these and had any intention to join the demonstration in oakland
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come as some of the media have asked. they came to oakland to kill cops. amy: authorities have also arrested an accomplice of sgt. carillo's. earlier this month, federal prosecutors in las vegas have charged three other men connected to the far-right boogaloo movement with inciting violence during the recent protests and conspiracy to commit terrorism. the three men also had experience in the u.s. military. in portland, oregogon, police he opened an investigation into the death of an african-american trans womaman named tetete gully who was found hanging in a tree in late may. the local medical examaminer rud her r death to be e a suicide bt her famimily believes she may he been killed.d. her death comes as federal authorities probe two recent hanging g deaths of black men in californrnia. meanwhwhile, in new york protest , a is scheduled for saturday to demand a full investigation into the death of dominique alexander, a 27-year-old black man who was found hanged in a manhattan park last week. the local medical examiner's office ruled the cauause of his
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death was suicidede. the e equal l justice e initiats issued a new report documenting nearly 2000 confirmed lynchings of black people by white mobs in the united states between 1865 to 1877. the group, which was founded by bryan stevenson, has spent years documenting the legacy of racial terror in the country. it has previously documented 4400 lynchings of black people in the u.s. between 1877 and 1950. in internationonal news, at lelt 20 indian troops have died in a border clash with chinese soldiers in the himalayas. it was the first deadly encounter by the two nuclear-armed neighbors in 45 years. china accused the indian troops of crossing the disputed border but india rejected the claim. tensions are escalating on t the korean p peninsula one day after nonorth korea blblew up a jojoit liaison offifice near the e souh kokorean border.r. the office was set up after the 2018 peace talks. north korea has also threatened to send troops back to the
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border. meanwhile, south korean unification minister has offered his reresignation as t ties betn north and south korea worsen. sweeping new u.s. sanctions on syria go into effect today despite warnings from aid groups that the sanctions could disproportionatetely impact sysn civilianans. university of oklahoma professor joshua landis said -- "sanctions are sure to hurt many innocent people. syrians are already on their knees. this will simply bring them a bit lower." the calilifornia utility company pg&e has confessed to killing 84 people as it pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges over its role in starting devastating fires in northern california in 2018. the fires destroyed 18,000 structures. butte county district attorney mike ramsey described the plea deal as unprecedented. >> we are in our north county anrt today, saw something of
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ununprecedented nature. ununited states corporation pleading guiuilty to 85 felony counts. countshich were homicide . killing 84 butte citizens. amamy: in immigration nenews, prisononers held at the otay mea detention center in san diego have reportedly been blocked from communicating with members of the group otay mesa detention resistance. the e activist group hasas been instrumental in documenting the conditions at the privately-run immigrant jail and offered support during recent hunger strikes. the jail has one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks of any immigratioion jail in the count. toatatch our interview with a member ootayay mesa detetention resistance, go to in mexicico, about a dozen families whose loved ones have been disappeared have been camping outside the home of president andres manuel lopez obrador for almost two weeks demanding his government search
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for the over 60,000 people who've gone missing in mexico and bring their families justice. the families say the nationwide coronavirus lockdown has disrupted search missions and that proposed austerity measures announced in april will likely end vital funding and support to families of the disappeared. the trump admiministration has sued former national security adviviser john bolton in a a bio block the e publicatation of his foforthcoming book. the justice department is claiming the book could compromise national security and that it did not go through the necessary pre-publication review process. president trump has publicly warned bolton about publishing the book. pres. trump: i will consider every conversation with me as president highly classifified, o that would mean if he wrote a book and if the book gets out, he has broken the law. amy: meanwhile, "the daily beast" is reporting the white house is also looking into ways to block the publication of a forthcoming book by trump's niece, mary trump, titled her "too much and never enough: how
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my family created the world's most dangerous man." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i am amy goodman here in newew gonzaz whoith juan is broadcasting from h his homen brunswick, new jersey. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. show inbegin totoday's tulsa, oklahoma, where a judge -- were president donald trump a host a massive indoor campaiaign concernsaturday despite the gathering will lead to a surge in covid9 cases. in a state where theirirus iss already alarmingly on the rise. the ceers for sesease ntrorol and d prentionon reported oklaha has en a a 7% incrcrse in covid cases, t l large in n the country. tua's health direcr said he
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wished theresident would postpone the ral.. thpepersonhe outbreak of the coronavirus in the.s.s. inmarch due to ccerns abouthe virus the yor has so said he doesn't wa i it the now. 20, lawyers ve sued in an tetempt halt the releasing e e evenwillll endanger th tulsa community. deite public health perts warningsgainst lge indoo gatherin, the trp administtion is ving forrd th planso fill a9,000-se arena foththe ray. th tens thousan more in the nrby convtion cente vice president mike pence will attend the rally and falsely claimed that in a very real sense oklahoma had flattened the curve of covivid infections. this is trump speaking monday. pres. trump: oklahoma is at a veryry low number. they have been fantastic work. they have a new, pretty new, .agnificent arena
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we are getting exact numbers but we're close to or at over one million people wanting to go. we have a 22,000 seat arena but i think we're also going to take the convention hall next door. 22,000 plus 40,000, which would been over 900,000 people. hopefully, they will be watching. amy: the trump campaign is requiring attendees to his rally to sign a waiver resolving the campaign. resolving the campaign of liability if an attendee contracts covid-19 but they are not requiring masks. this comes as president trump also faces outrage for choosing tulsa, oklahoma, as a location for his first rally in the face of nationwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality.
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it originally announced it would be this friday step that is june 19, or juneteenth, a celebration of african americans liberation from slavery. but tulsa is also the site of one of the deadliest massacres in u.s. history. in 1921, 90 nine years ago this month, a white mob attttacked a black neighborhood in tulsa, killing as many as 300 african-americans. over two days, they set fires to homes, businesses, and churches in greenwood, a thriving african-american business districtct known at the time as black wall street. when the smoke cleared, the area lay in ruins. this is an from "the night tulsa burned," which features some of the survivors who were just children when the attack occurred. .his is george monroe >> i will always r remember four housese with our
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mother saw them the childrene put unr r the bed. and from under thehe bed, we cod see them walking to the curtains and setting fire to the curtains to set our house on fire. we start hearining shohots. gathered user together. we set up and we could see smoke and hear shots. you could not sleep or anything. we were just frightened nearly to deaeath. , wes soon as daylight came looked outside. all of t these people were comig down this railroad track.
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amy: f for more, we go to tulsa, oklahoma, where we're j joined y hannibal johnsnson, anan author, attorney, author of several books about the history of tulsa's african-american community, including "black wall street: from rot to renaissance in tulsa's historic greenwood district," "up from the ashes," and "images of america: tulsa's historic greenwood district." if you could start, hannibal johnson, by talking about what hahappened 9 99 yearss agogo ths month. closose whatat happenened i in n 1921 was emblematic of the racial violelence that pervadedd the e united states s during tht period. stories that sosociologist low p point o ofe race r relations inn americaca because of t the proliliferatiof the so-called race riots, mostly ininvasions of blackck comommun, vigilante whitite mobs, and because of the p prevalence o of
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lynchingng. lynching being a form of domestic terrorism targegeting primarily africican-americans.. soso this was a a period fraught with racial violence and historical racial trauma. the event in tulsa is the worst of the so-called race riots during this period in terms of its magnitude. the business community in greenwood district, the black sector in tulsa, was h highly developed, a great concentration of serervice providers likike doctors anand lawyers anand pharmacicists and dentists. small businesses likike movie eaters i''m a dance hahalls, barbershops, restaurants, grocery stores come have a -- reese, shine shops, real concentrtration of blackk entrepreneurshipip and black wealth and a five square block area in tulsa,a, oklahoma separated from downtown tulsa to
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the tracks. juan: hannibal johnson, , you mentioioned the racicial conflfs of that period which many americans are not aware of, but throughohout the countryry in te worlrld war i post-world war i period, there were these huge offlicts, the h houston mutiny 1917 a black sololdiers agagaint racism that theyey were p perceg in the m military, the easast s. lolouis riot of 1917, ththe chio riot of 1919, and elaine arkansas massacre where over 100 african-americans were massacred in elaine. was part of this the result of asas as -- as african-americans, being pressed into thehe milita, the more willilingness -- - on
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one hand of african americans to stand up for the rights and also whites seekiking to suppress t afrirican-americanan community? >> i think is important to understand the pervasiveveness d the e power of white s supremacs a a philosophy during this p pe. so we hahave these afrirican-american men who wentt off to work in foreign countrtries, sacrificed theirr lives potentially foror their country and for t their american cititizenship. they come back to the united states and they are treatedd as at best second-class citizizens. at worstst, subhuman. so black men were much more vocal about detetecting the civl rights after having served in world war i. on the flipside of that, the white community noticing thisis on thesnse of and boldment
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part of african-americans was determined to enforce white supremacy. in these events that were called race riots and these lynchings are really in-service of white supremacy. amy: interesting because we've been looking at the bringing down of the confederate statues around the country and the naming of military bases after confederate like for bragg and this was right around the same time not during the civil war, namedy after that they these bases after confederate soldiers -- again, as they saw the rising empowerment of african-americans to pull them down. i wanted to go to tulsa native professor olivia hooker, a survivor of the greenwood massacre, describing the attack on her community that took place when she was six years old. she was 92 when she did this interview. >> i refused to call it a riot. whites decided to bring down the homes of 10,000
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people. that w was not a riot. it was a alant desecration. in, --e mobs came lighted up and they set things on fire. because refused to run she was busy putting water on the house to try to keep it from burning. so she put the job and under the big table. they had those great b big tabls in those days. when were under the table the mobs came in. amy: that is tulsa native professor olivia hooker talking about what happened in 1921. i wanted to asask you, hannibal johnson, about president trump choosing tulsa -- now, there is the surge and we know that covid-19 is the african-american community much harder than the rest of the community in this
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country. there is a surge in tulsa. many of the leaders are askiking for it not to be heheld there. and he was going to hold it friday, juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery, which has outraged seven even president trump was forced to put it off for a day. kamala harris, senatator from california vying for the vice presidency under president joe biden administration of that were to happen says this is not just a wink to white supremacist, he is throwing them a welcome home party. can you respond t to this choice of l location and ththe original date?? >> rightht soso the r rally is troublininga lot t of people because of botoh the venue -- tulslsa -- and because of thehe timing. we're in ththe midst of a covid pandemic. we are nine a the midst -- inin the mididst of a pandemic,c, bringing people togegether i ina tight s space where it is n not
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possible to sosocially distance. whwhere people donon't have t tr a mamask. those people are going to attend ththe rally andnd then spill out into the commumunity at large ad pose s substantial r risks to af us here. so that in and of itself is a a problem. the other problem with timing is that even though ththe ralllly s now been moved to june 20 as opposed to june 19, it t is stil juneteenth weekend. there are still festivities , celebratory atmosphere ofof a significant day in our history, particularly for african-americans. afterlly comes 2.5 weeks the 99th anniversary o of the 11 race massacre. sensitivity atof the very least. the other dynamic that is important think about is the character of the rally.
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and we know something about the potential character of the rally based on prior experience with these sorts of rallies, which tend to be raucous, tend to be exclusive rather than inclusive, elements of have race and racism as part of the experience. so that troubles a lot of people because here i in tulsa, we are working hard on reconciliation, moving our community closer together as we approach the 100th anniversary of the 1921 tulsa race massacre. the rally has the potential to be a disruptor to where we are on the road to reconciliation. i wanted to ask y you, of course thehe country has been swept for weekeks now by protets over police abuse and the
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murders of african-americans, but the tulslsa pololice major travis yates recently d denied e exisistence of systemic r racisn the police force. he said, "african-n-americans probably should bebe shot m mor" recording you u can hearar them, "we're shooting africacan-americans about 24% ls than we probabably ought to be based on the crimes being committed." policesponsnse to thehe major r in your city? was taken that remark out of context, but the remark makes for itself. itit is deeply troublingng. rebuked b by both the .olicece chief and the mayor thes not reflective of rankingg officers whom i know ad have worked with for many, many,
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ma years. but agagain, it is deeply troublining. whatatever the context m may hae been, whevever the intention may have been, it t is deeply problematic. to put those words t together oa radio show w in the midst of f l of the thihings that the c cou's going on and allll of the things we have gogone through here in tulsa. amy: and yet the situation of the two kids -- i d don't even wantnt to sayy jaywalking. 13-year-old tulsa residence who were brutalized by the police -- the video of these kids, one of the put in the car and you see the police officer kicking him. they accuse him of jaywalking on a rural road. one of these kids is 13 years old. the road does not have sidewalks. hannibal johnson, have they been suspended? have they been fired?? have they been chargeded with
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assaulult? meetining the police o officers. >> the matatter hass beeeen putr invevestigation. basesed on what you just reciti, th i is deeplyly disturbing and troubling. so we need to find the facts and wewe need to hold people basedtablble as appropriate on the facts and circumstances that are determined through the investigatory process. thank younibal johnson, very much for being with us, attorneyey and author r of "blak wall street: from riot to renaissance in tulsa's historic greenwood district." final queststion my 20 seconds, people getting reparations for what happenened in 192121? wawasn't there commission set tp that said they s should? >> there was a commimission n tt wawas convened in 1997. it recommended reparations for riot survivors andnd descecendes of riot survivors who couould prove e loss of f property. therere was a lawsuit leled in e early 2000's.
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it was dismimissed on ststatutef limitations. reparations s to individuauals e not happened. we'rere looking at other forms,, including bubuilding a substantl history y center here in thehe greenwoodd district, pathway too hope that kekenexa various sites greenwood district, and other initiatitives that are m more community-based rather than indivividually fococused. amy: thanknk you so much, hannil johnson. we w will continue to look at tulsa on friday on democracy now! when we will be joined by the sister, the twin of a man in 2016killed by police her great-grandmother survived the tulsa racace massacre. when we come back, because of puerto rico. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy:y: " turn me around"d" by te roots.
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this is democracy now!,, the quarante report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. as hurricane seaeason begins we turn to puerto rico, which was devastated in 2017 when hurricane maria killed at least 3000 people and destroyed much of the island's power grid, leaving many without electricity for months. a new investigation has revealed the puerto rican government issued a $1.5 billion contract to a company for the first large power generationroroject sincece the storm without the proper oversight. the reportrt accusesueuerto ri's elelectric power authority o of giving a an fair advange to new fortreress energy when it contractcted with the e companyo convnvert two major power statan frfrom operatingng on diesesel o natural gas. the report also accused the island's power company of failing to consider the project's environmental, safety and health impacts, and alternative sources of power like renewable energy. the report was co-authored by ingridid vila biaggigi, who jois
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now from sanan juan, puerto rico she is president of cambio, a puerto rico-based environmental nonprofit, and the former chief of staff for the commonwealth of puerto rico. she co-authored the new report with the institute for energy economics anand financial analysis. ingrid, welcome to democracy now! lay out what you found in the level of really the vision corruption in thihis. >> first of all, thank you for having me. like you just mentioned, this is an ill-conceived project full of fiscalally responsnsible practi, full off irregularities s that theart from the absence of study that d did not even was pt forth in o order to deterermines was a project t that would be beneficicial to puerto rico. this is a convergent to natural gas -- c conversion of natururas for the power authority prepa in
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puerto rico. this is a project that was started as a p pposal by n new fortressss energrgy which is presented december 2017, two months after hurricane maria when puerto ricans did not have power. we do nonot even h have adequate communication. we already had thiss company presenting to the power and authority a a which provided thm with access and continueded munication to the authority and agreemenent which greateter than informatioion aboutt this unit. it moves into a process without theiding information confidenentiality agreement as well as other information that was vital in terms of properties strategically acquireded. we callingng for the cancellllan of this object, which as you mentioned, is a $1.1.5 billioion
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project that will continue to luck in fofossil fuels on thee isisland andnd would prevent the aggressive integratition of renewable energy which would be the sustaiainable transformation that puerto rico deserves righgt now. , how: ingrid vila biaggi didid fortress energy get thiss close relationonship with the leletter power aututhority? i understand it is a company formeded by former execucutivesf blackrkrock, goldman sacachs, af ubs. what has been his track r recor? does it have a track rececord in this kinind of liquid gas production o or electricity anywywhere else in t the world?? >> first off all, does not havea track record in puerto rico. it is very limited expxperiencen terms of nanatural gas. that is one ofof the questions e raised, how w is this companyy
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selected versus other companies. like i mentioned, this was an unsolicited proposal to the authorities. the project itself was conceieid by the privavate sector, which s been onene of the great problems that prepa has faced in the past in terms of lackcking planning d then allowing for private interest to push in these projects that do not serve the best interest of the people of puerto rico.o. our ininvestigation is based on public communication that we were able to obtain through litigation with prepa. prepa was not willing to provide the documents and we had to go to court to get them. thatt we founund through public documumentation is that l of these irregularitiess in thee process prioior to the process entering the r rfp process, we were a able to identif some law firms, for example, thatt word negotiatated this cocontract afr it was awawarded -- that same u.
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forfirm represents entities thpaparent comompany of f new fortreress. we werere not able to finind a specific documumentation regardg how -- who introduce them to puerto rico.o. i think part of the investigation that s should be condnducted by federal andnd lol authoritieies to find out andnd provide questions to many issues that were raisised in the repor. juanan: ingrid, i wouldld like o ask about a separarate report tt that chris christie, the former r governor of nenew jersey and also on the original transition team for presidident trump is now w a lobbyist, $30,0 a month, for r the puererto rico electric compapany. whwhat exactly is s chris chrise doing there anand what is his expertise? >> therere's s no information in terms of what he is doing. prepa and else last week where
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it was disclosed that -- where it was disisclosed for the upcoming mon, supposedly to help with federal fundingng ando get federal funding x arrive to puerto rico. however, it is another of thohoe contract thahat has no overntability and c comes to $270 m million in contracts s tt f foreeeen awarded at prepa servicic in the past two or three years. we have to remember $270 million does not sound like a big amount of money in ththe u.s., but this is a bankrupt corporation. $270 milillion in pupublic serv, public-professional services, announced a whole lot of money that could be used for the maintenance of the infrastructure, for adopting renewables, install solar projects. we definitely question this
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professional service contract as well as the other ones that have been awarded in the authorities. as you are in hurriricane season, ingrid, began on june 1, ked you have the sun-soa island, to have poured this much money, let alone the reason they have given it to this company, hosea ortiz, the head of the power company, said -- your report showed complete ignorance around t the contract, that it s approved by the federal control board that oversees puerto rico's finances. if you could resespond and say what y you are demandiding right now? reaction does not addrdress any of the irregularities we raise in the report and try to dismiss our report by questioning the professisional space of the authors.
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we are both h former public officials with vast experience and contntract provision. like i mentioned, he is trying to distract the attention from ththe reportrt. in terms of your statement regarding the begininning off hurricane seasonon, definitelelt is quite a bit of anxiety to f for thisrecast hurricane season is going to b e is notand puerto rico better poised to addressss an extreme weather events and it was when we faced hurricane maria -- precisely because prepa has s not implemented andnd hast addressed renewablble energrgy d other more sustainable alternatives to make the g grid momore resesilient and reduce vulnerability for the population of puerto rico. regarding approval during the process, those things we question in ththe report.
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the fiscal control board approved this, yet acknowledging in their own right up that the 40% aboves 30% to industry benchmark costs. i mean, we do want -- that is what we are asking for an independenent, outside investigation of this whole process to see how a process -- how w a project with -- and a contractor withh so many issues and so many y irregularieses was able t to conclude in a contract was able tbebe signed, and now we have this project that we have to deal with on the island. amy: ingrivivila biaggi, thank you fofor being with us, presidt to us fromspeaking puerto rico. before we got to break, juan, if you coululd talk about the supre court decisision that just came down around d order rico'ss deb? jujuan: a cple weekeks ago from the susupreme court ruleded butt was in the midst of all of the protests around police abusese o
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i did not get m much attention n the u.s.... it b basically ruled that t the appointment of the prepa -- probobably so bored, which is runnining the economy and i is really superseding t the local government that the apartment of thosee officials by congress a d the preresident was illegal. there had b been a series of lawsuiuits in ththe courts tryro chchallenge the legalality of te appointments clause ofofhe consnstitution that the membersf the boboard were n appointed with the advice and consent of the senate, as is required of fedederal ofofficers. anand the court ruleded -- it ia strange opinion. it was a a unanimous opinion, bt there waa seven vovote majority opinion written by justicice breyerer, and then there w wereo other concurringng opinions with separate opinions, onene by justice thomas and one by justice e sotomayor or. justice would mayor's opinion was actctually the dissent, even
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thouough she agreed with t the majorityty opinion. she went into peperhaps her most detaed legalal brief on the status o of puerto rico. the portant thing i i think that jujust a set of mayor saidn this -- just a sododa mayor said in r opinion wawas that she q questin the entire legitimimacy of the promomesa porters. and she said, and people should readad this opinion, it was a 24 page opinion, sasays "these cass raise serious questions about whwhen if ever the federal govevernment make rerestitutiono exercisese authority to establih territitorl officers in a territory like pueuerto rico wee congress seemingly seated that authority long ago to puertoto rico itself." she went on to s say that p theromesa boarard members tetest th the selelf-governing territories exist in a twilightt zone of accountability, neither
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selecteded by puerto rico itself were subject to the e stricture eaearns the appointmentt clalau. i am skeptical that the constitution continents this freewheeling exercise of control over a population the federal governmentnt has explicitly agrd to recognize is operarating undr governoror of their own choosin" shbasicalllly said, you are not taking into effffect -- into account the rest of f the court that back in the 1950's, the unit statates granted self-governance to puerto rico and now by the impososition ofoe control b board, that has takent away. she babasically says,, i''m goig along th this a appointment was decision but the basic question here h n not been seted. i think it is ththe most -- she has hahad veral opinions n now, dissssenting opinions to thehe t .n the issue of puerto ricoo she basically saysys, you've got to do with the colonial or go.nship u apart
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i'm next, we'll look atat an insurgent campaign to unseat 16 term comics member and house foreign affairs committee chair eliot engel. we will l speak with his challenger jamaal bowman who has just been endorsed by "the new sanders,s," berniee alexaniaia ocasicortez. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "song of light" by taina asili. this is democracy now!w!,, , the quarante report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez as we turn now to the second most economically unequal district in new york state, the bronx, where an insurgent campaign for congress is threatening to upset the democratic establishment, as protests against police and systemic racism continue to roil the country. not far from where alexandria ocasio-cortez took down longtime congressmember joe crowley in 2018, former middle school principal jamaal bowman is now running to unseat 16-term congressmember and house foreign affairs committee chair eliot engel and represent new york's 16th district in the bronx and westchester county in congress. bowman is running on a green new deal, medicare for all platform, and has responded to the recent spate of protests across the country by saying he supports defunding the police. congressman engel, meanwhile, has called for police reform. the congressman has come under
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-- has faced criticism for the anti-94 crime bill. earlier this month, eliot engel was caught on a news 12 mic asking bronx borough president ruben diaz jr. if he could speak at a rally after a night of protests against police violence. he then told diaz that "if i didn't have a primary i wouldn't care." the race has gained national attention as new york's primary election is next tuesday, june 23, with democratic heavyweights hillary clinton, house speaker nancy pelosi, and house majority whip james clyburn throwingg their support behind engel. meanwhile, jamaal bowman is backed by senators elizabeth warren and bernie sanders, representatitive alexandria ocasio-cortez, "the new york times," justice democrats, and the working families party. he is joining us from yonkers, new york, just finishshed up wih a campaign event there. jamaal bowman, thank you for joining us on democracy now! can you talk about why you think your campaign can succeed? you haveve gotten a number of
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extremely important endorsements. and what you feel is the most important message out of these anti-police brutality protests around the country that are also focused very mucriright here in nenew york? >> thank youou so much foror hag me. good morning. i have w worked in this district for the l last 10 years as a middle school principal. i opened my y own community pubc schoolol right here in the north east bronx.. over that 10 years i''ve developed thousands of amazing relationships with thehe c chiln and families of this community. i haveve learned i intimately te impact of poverty and thahat policy on their lives each and everery day. what i a also learned wass that congressman eliot engel has been incrededibly absbsent and disend in most of the district. he does a good job o of engaging about 9% of the district t while the restst of the districtct fes unheheard and unsupporteded in s what they're goioing through. with regard to the protestss
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across the country, i i mixed 5- i am inspired. i'i'm excited.d. beenn history, it iss proteststs and peopleising up that has moved to this countryry foforward. that is whwhat is happening now. unfortunately, it had happened at t the hanands of george flo's asthh and omimid arbery's debt a many others, but it is good to see people rising up and that so many have galvanized behind our campaigngn. couould you bowman, talk about your experience as a cipal in thea prin bronx and what made you decide to throw your hat in t this rac, against seniors -- senior officials of the democratic party in congress? >> started teaeaching in 1999 in the south bronx. i spent 1 17 of my 20 years in
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educatation in the bronx, both s a teacher anand a medals will prprincipal.l. just middle school principalal. asas we know, our r schools a ae underfunded and under r rourced. our communities have beeeen affected by redlining and disinvestment.t. we conontinue to support wall street and the wealtlthy among . we c continue to allow lararge corporations l like amazon to gt awayay without payining f federl taxes. we continue to support out-of-control spending in our militaryry just drove complex,, alalough all thehe kids that i serve struggle with mental health support, lack of mentall health supupport, strtruggle wih housing insecurity, fooood insecurity, lack of job opoprtunity, e environment or raracism. yoyou name it, l like kids and families have struggled with this. i got tired of seeing or not hearing the momost runnablble ir communities -- most vulnerable in our communities and our
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children not at the top of the politicall agenda. it jususbecame unanacceptablbleo meme. i've done a lot of organizining work for educacaon reformm education n justice aroundnd tra pushing back against standardized t testing. i felt no sense of urgency around what is happening with our heads every day. it became unacceptable. amy: i if you could d talk abou, jamaal bowman, your demand to defund the police, joint net grgrowing cry -- joining the growing cry? what does it mean to you? what does that mean in new york? and your response to the police commissioner holding a news conferencing he is just handing the entire 600 pererson anti-cre unit that is so often known for , responsiblever
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ugly for most of the shootings responsible i-- ththink for most of the shootins in new york? >> it is excellent first step. it is a response to the protests in the uprisisings happening in the city and acrcross the count. we need to defund the police because we need to demilitarized our police. we need to stop sending federal military equipment to local police departments stop we need to focus on accountability and transparency. we need to end qualified immunity at the federal level where police can violate a person civil rights with impunity -- which we have seen happening time and time again. we need to reallocate and reinvest those resources inn commmmunity health and community development. so fully investing in our public schools by hiring more teachers, hiring more nurses in health care come in job programs --
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everything that creates infrastructure for collective ation andactualiz self-determinationon in our community. importantly, we continue to disinvest in our community and add more police to communities so that they feel occupied. that is unacceptable. it is been going on far too long. that is s what we call f for trh and reconciliation, massive financial investment, massive focus o on mental health, social workers, and public c alth overalall. juan: jamaal bowman, i i would k yout the forces agagainst from hillaryry clinton making oe of her first endorsesements on a congreressional race of this yer for eliot engel asas well as a major political action committee that receives republican -- a lolot of repepublican money anda major lobbying group o of -- a
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pro-israel lobbying group all behihind engel on top of the brx credit - -- the infamous france democratic machine? >> that is finin that is what it is.. that is s not what we can contr. i think what it shows the publbc and the country is thahat we hae been rununning an incrediblyly ststrong camampaign. we have an amazazing t team. we have an amazing c campaign manager. we have been running a strong campaign. we're just focused on doing our job in c connecting as much with the voters throughout the district as possible. we canvassed the entire district from the very beginning, building strong authentic relationships from s scarsdale o coco-ops to yonkers and everywhe in b between. wewe are six dayays away from bringing home this victory. i don'n't know if he s saw the rececent polling as it came out,
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it has is 10 points ahead.. so we're doing very well stop we ever own support from congress , katie ocasio-cortez porter, senator sanders, senator elizabeth warren, and "the new york timim" as well l as local elected officials like gustavo rivera, state senator biaggggi d new york city comptroller s scot stringerer as well as many other grassroots organizations. amy: jamaal bowman, thank you for being with us. can you tell us how it is to campaigngn on the ground in this area, which has been known as the epicenter of the pandemic,, what i it means for you? we are talking to you in yonkers where you just did an event. >> it means beingng say. so maintainining social distancing, making sure we arere wewearing mamasks. bubut to stillll be presesent ad engaged anand still be listening to the needs of the people on the ground. amy: jamaal bowman, thank you for being with us former middle , school principal running to represent new york's 16th
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district, challenging eliot engel. that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democr
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