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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 20, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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from pacifica this is democracy now. mr. sanders: i look forward in the coming weeks to continue discussions between the two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the democratic party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that democrats actually fight for that agenda. amy: as bernie sanders refuses
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to concede the democratic race to hillary clinton, thousands of his supporters gathered in chicago for the people summit to discuss with the progressive movement goes next. we will hear from author naomi klein. are ultimately grieving the real loss of lives. amy: and actor and activist rosario dawson. ly with collaborativ each other. they are not collaborating. they're are all working with each other even if it seems like they have fallen out, do not get it twisted. excited by the news like she will leave as the dnc chair. and then, as the u.s. senate is slated to vote on four
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gun-control measures today, we will speak with the australian activist who helped quickly push her gun-loving nation to adopt sweeping gun-control measures after a massacre 20 years ago. such action is not expected in the senate today. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. thousands of people gathered at a lakeside park in orlando, florida sunday for the largest , vigil to date honoring the 49 victims of an attack on a gay nightclub on june 12. many of those killed in the attack were young latino and many members of the lgbtq community. perris williams was among those to pay homage to the victims. mr. williams: the 49 people who died, i would want you to know that this is not in vain. i am here for you.
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i'm one of you. i will carry your spirit with me for the rest of my days. amy: the senate is expected to te on four gun control measures today. all are expected to fail. the vote comes after democratic connecticut senator chris murphy staged a filibuster for nearly 15 hours last week over the orlando massacre. he was demanding action. as the debate over gun control rages, an ohio gunshot owner has been fatally shot during a class on concealed carry. investigators say a student appears to have accidentally fired the gun, fatally shooting 64-year-old james baker in the neck. in connecticut, a judge hears arguments today over whether to dismiss a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used in the massacre at sandy hook elementary school. families of the victims are suing remington arms, the parent company of bushmaster firearms, which made the military-style assault rifle used in the massacre. a similar gun was used in the
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orlando nightclub massacre. the families say the company should have known the gun is too -- is a military weapon to dangerous to sell to civilians. remington has sought to dismiss the lawsuit. as orlando reels from the massacre of 49 people, carolina,, south marked the first anniversary of its own massacre. the suspect, dylann storm roof, killed nine black worshipers. he embraced white supremacist views and was shown in photographs posing with the confederate flag. south carolina state senator marlon kimpson was among the officials at friday's memorial. >> dylann roof was not part of isis to he was a home grown terrorist filled with hate right here in south carolina. what sense does it make to have
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a background check law if the background check does not have to be complete before the gun is sold? wh kind of sportsmen needs an assault rifle to hunt deer? why do we allow some one who is being expected of terrorism to purchase a gun but not board a plane? if you cannot fly, you ought not be able to buy. amy: the presumptive republican presidential nominee, donald trump has spoken out in far of , racial profiling in the wake of the orlando killings. trump told cbs face the nation profiling is "not the worst thing to do." mr. trump: i think power -- profiling is something we will have to think about as a country and other countries do. you look at israel and others, and they do it and do it successfully. i hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense, and we have to use
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our heads. amy: in the latest sign of a revolt within the republican party over donald trump as nominee, house speaker paul ryan has said republicans should follow their conscience when it comes to deciding whether to te for donald trump. ryan made the comments on nbc's "meet the press." of course, i would not tell someone to do something contrary to conscience. believe me, i know this is a very strange situation, unique. but i feel, as speaker of the house, i should not leave a chasm in the middle of the party. armitage, deputy secretary of state under president george w. bush, said he is voting for hillary clinton. the united nations says a record 65 million people have been displaced by conflicts around the world. it's the first time the number of displaced people has topped 60 million. most have been forced to flee to areas within their own countries, largely in syria and
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iraq. despite the focus on the influx of refugees in european countries, 86% of the world's refugees are hosted in developing regions close to conflict zones, like turkey, jordan and ethiopia. ,today is world refugee day. on sunday, u.n. high commissioner for refugees filippo grandi warned of what he called a "climate of xenophobia" in europe. his remarks came three days after labour party parliament member jo cox was shot and killed by a constituent in britain. the southern poverty law center in montgomery, alabama, said the shooter, thomas mair, is a longtime supporter of the neo-nazi national alliance and attended a 2000 meeting of british white supremacists. todd blodgett, a paid fbi informant, helped arrange the meeting in london. in court friday, mair gave his name as "death to traitors, freedom for britain." britain votes thursday on
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whether to leave the european union. to see our interview with the head of the southern poverty law center, you can go to in japan, tens of thousands of people gathered on the island of okinawa to demand the ouster of u.s. military bases. activists said 65,000 people attended what they called the largest protest in two decades against the u.s. military presence. the protests erupted after a former marine working as a civilian contractor at a u.s. base was accused of raping and murdering a 20-year-old woman. the victim's father has called for the removal of all us ses -- of all u.s. bases on okinawa, which hosts about 26,000 u.s. troops. at sunday's rally, lia camargo said u.s. soldiers should also be held accountable for their crimes. >> i do not think it is that simple just to get the bases out.
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i think making sure the ,esponsibility of the soldiers if they do commit a crime, it has to have the same gravity as a japanese person who commits the same crime. amy: aid groups have warned of a humanitarian crisis as tens of thousands of iraqis flee the city of fallujah. iraqi forces said friday they had reclaimed large swaths of the city from isil after a weeks-long offensive. the norwegian refugee council warned about 30,000 people have fled to nearby campsince friday alone, with another 32,000 displaced since the fighting began last month. the international organization for migration has put the total displaced in the four-week battle at more than 80,000. a new investigation has found despite the declaration of an end to the u.s. combat mission in afghanistan, the majority of u.s. airstrikes there this year have been conducted in support of ground troops, including afghan forces fighting the taliban.
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obama declared an end to the u.s. combat role in afghanistan in 2014, turning the fighting over to local forces. but the bureau of investigative journalism said their data shows more than 200 strikes have been conducted in defense of ground forces, suggesting "the u.s. has been drawn quietly yet significantly into fighting the taliban-led insurgency." in california, black lives matter activist jasmine richards, whose conviction on a charge known up until recently as "felony lynching" sparked protests around the country, has been freed. police had accused richards of trying to de-arrest someone during a peace march. she was released saturday, less than two weeks after being sentenced to 90 days in prison, minus time served. she is due back in court next month for pre-trial hearings in two other cases. in vancouver, washington, more than 100 people formed a human blockade across railway tracks to ptest the transportation of
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oil by rail. the action came after a union pacific oil train derailed in mosier, oregon, earlier this month, causing a massive fire and prompting evacuations. mia reback of portland rising tide spoke as activists sat on the tracks. >> behind me right now, over 100 people are sitting in on the are tracks where oil trans frequently sent through this area we are responding to the derailment where an oil train derailed, spilling oil into the columbia river. calling for an immediate end to oil trains. amy: earlier in the day, the fire chief of mosier, oregon addressed the crowd who gathered , before the direct action. chief jim appelton has previously defended the safety of oil by rail, but he has become an outspoken opponent of the shipments following the fiery derailment in his town.
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>> our community would like to derailment dr the process of putting our community back together as both the straw that broke the camels back and a model for our transition to renewable, global energy. [cheers and applae] mosier proves that those trains are too dangero. let's make our policies are fight that new realizations and ban those trains. amy: in the southern mexican state of oaxaca, police descended on teachers protesting against neoliberal education reform and the arrests of their colleagues. at least six people were killed and dozens more wounded. activists said police also cut power to the oaxaca city center. the teachers have set up blockades to protest the reforms and the arrest of two teachers' union leaders last week on what protesters say are trumped-up charges.
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last week marked the 10th anniversary of the popular rebellion in oaxaca, when a bloody state crackdown on striking school teachers sparked a popular uprising against governor ulises ruiz ortiz. in mexico city friday, thousands took to the streets to protest president enrique peña nieto's education reforms, which include teacher evaluations opponents say could be used to justify mass layoffs. teacher francisco bravo denounced the reforms. there are two issues we are two issues we're dealing with. we demand the government reverse education reform, which is not about education. fundamentally, it is about labor and an end to oppression. we allow the prisoners to be freed and dismissed colleagues to be reinstated. amy: in italy, virginia raggi has been elected the first woman mayor of the capital rome. the italian city of turin also elected its first woman mayor, chiara appendino. both candidates are from the anti-establishment five star movement.
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and wikileaks founder julian assange has marked the beginning of his fifth year holed up in the ecuadorian embassy in london. he eered the eassy june , 2012, to aid extradition on sex -- to avoid extradition on sex ofmes allegations, most which have since been dropped. he has repeatedly denied any guilt for and for which he has never been officially charged. he fears sweden would extradite him to the united states, where he could face trial for wikileaks' revelatns. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. thousands gathered over the weekend in chicago for the people summit, a major conference that brought together activists, community leaders, organizations to discuss what is next in the populist movement that helped fuel the 2000 residential election. the conference began one day
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after bernie sanders announced he would not concede to hillary clinton. had theers: i recently opportunity to meet with secretary clinton and discuss some of the very important issues facing our country and of the democratic party. it is no secret that secretary clinton and i have strong disagreements on some very, very important issues. it is also true that our views are quite close on others. i look forward in the coming weeks to continue discussion the we knew two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the democratic party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that democra actually fight for that agenda. key backers of democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders and tended the people summit in chicago, but organizers said the
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event was not about any campaign in particular but the future of the progressive movement in the united states. it was organized in part by national nurses united, the first national union to back sanders as a presidential candidate last year. today, we bring highlights of the summit's opening night panel discussion, moderated by democracy now! own juan gonzalez. naomi klein, activist, was there, and author, john nichols, and actor and activist rosario dawson. let's not get into -- let's get into where the movement goes from here, and hopefully we can do it in a way of recognizing our unities and differences. i want to share a brief experience of my own and the problems i have in being able to deal with a presidential race. it was 1968 right here in this .ity of chicago
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it was the democratic national convention of 1968. student right out of colombia, the columbia student strike of 1968, and we came to chicago to confront the democratic power brokers over the issue of the war in vietnam and racism in america. president tod the the moment had toppled the president,yndon johnson. and eugene mccarthy had swept of country with his legion mccarthy young people. robert kennedy had been killed in june of 1968, and it looked like the country was abo to implode. we're talking about night and eight, when there was a riot not in one city, ferguson or baltimore, in april of 196 there were 100 rts in one ek
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inhe united states after the assassination of martin luther king. so it looked like the country was on the verge of civil war. anarchist groups, the group, which at that time was the yippies, and a gro called up against the wall, and the mccarthy kids, we all met in lincoln park to confront the powerbrokers. of course, there was tear gas, daley evennd richard had his police order to shoot people on-site who thoht were looting. then was -- the whole world is watching. and the whole world was watching. but the world got a different message than the one we were putting forth. the result was, as many of you probably recall, richard nixon was elected president against hubert humphrey in a very narrow race, only because george
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wallace was also running for president and got about 13% of the vote, siphoning off all of these supporters of the democratic party, white which begans folks, the huge republican southern strategy that prevailed for years to come. we in sds refused to vote. we would not support mccarthy. we would not support humphrey. our slogan was -- vote with your feet, vote in the street. i am -- [cheers and applause] the here to tell you that slogan was right, the tactic was wrong. and i think that the country, in if not a substantive change, there would have been a positive change if nixon was not elected. but you learn from your mistakes. hopefully other generations learn from mistakes of those
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that came before them. so we are opening up the conversation at where does this movement go from here? this incredible movement. do we seek to reform the system, transformed the system, overflow -- overthrow and replace the system? what are we trying to do? and i would like naomi to start off, especially talking about the conversation has been one among the public against do youralism, and what see is the vision for where this movement should go? >> thank you. thank you, juan, and thank you for sharing that hard-won wisdom . we come here and energized by all that we have accomplished, all the ways in which we find ourselves gone further than we imagined. the really tangible victories of our movement in recent months and years. but let's not be afraid to admit that we also come here wounded
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and then we also come here in us, and that, for a lot of and i do not think i am just projecting, that pain feels very close to the surface. we are grieving political losses, dreams tantalizingly tasted, but ultimately unrealized. and we're also grieving real loss of lives, grieving the extinguishment of those 49 bright, beautiful lives in orlando less than a week ago, grieving the loss just yesterday of a young british politician named jo cox, a defender of syrian refugees, women's rights, and antipyretic receipt or gunned -- an anti-poverty crusader guns down and stabbed in her office. i could go on and on listing these attacks. think goodness for nurses, who have creat for us a space in
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which we can begin to heal, from which we will emerge stronger, ready forattle once again. you know, i do not think that this is a happenstance that we are brought together by caregivers, because i think, at the very hard to this revolution that we're talking about, is a revolution in shifting our economy, our political and oneomic system away from base of in list, endless extraction from the earth, as if we can take and take and take without consequence, that endless taking from workers' bodies, from our community, as if there is no breaking point in a consequence, to a society that is grounded in that first principle of caretaking. of caring for the earth and for one another.
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that is where we start. [applause] and of cherishing. shift is a fundamental rejection of the sacrifice zone mentality, the sacrificing of particular places, to oil drilling and fracking him and the sacrificing of bodies that are supposedly worked less because they are black and brown . this is a fundamental shift in values that we are talking about here, and it is revolutionary, but it grows from the heart. nurses united, for bringing us here. lost the argument. if they lost the argument to the extent that not only was bernie calling himself a
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socialist, n apologizing for it, making these arguments that, you know, not reductions in tuition but free college, you 100% pushing the envelope, renewable, just going all the way, and people were cheering. clinton toed hillary move to the left, and we also saw that even donald trump had to throw out the rule, promised to defend thsocial safety net in order to build his base. it was not just racism that got him where he is, although that has been a big part of it. hashis ideology that imprisoned our imaginations for so long, that told us we could never get to this place, that in ideas had to be smuggled under the cover of night, right, that all of that is not true, that these ideas are deeply popular.
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but that does not mean that neoliberalism is dead, because neoliberalism was never first and foremost in ideology. the ideology was also the cover for the grief. so now we still see these brutal neoliberal policies being pushed, not with any semblance of this is going to be good, this helps, but under cover of crisis. right? we see it in puerto rico. we're seeing it in brazil on the aftermath of a coup, and i think it should be called a coup. we see it in chicago and in the chicago school system. so we need to strategize. i do not think we win this war defensively just by saying no. we have to say no, but we also have to articulate this incredibly inspiring yesersectional, holistic
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that we agree on, a new story, a new narrative. one last thing, about what you said about 1968, i had the great privilege of living in argentina for a couple yea making a film nfiredworkers who u themselves when factories were being closed down during economic crisis. they occupied their factories, something workers here in chicago know abou chicago windows and doors, and they fire the boss. they said that you might not want to keep the factory running, but we are going to turn it into a democratic workers cooperative. we were there duringn election campaign, and the slogan of the social movement was -- our jury and not fit on your ballot. do not fit on your ballot. that does not mean we did not vote. some people voted and some did not do it but no wonder was under any illusion of what was being written on the ballot summit that that represented the world we wanted. that was worwe did elsewhere,
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and that is the work we're doing here. [applause] juan: how does the movement, especially now, this critical time of a presidential race, and then the aftermath of a presidential race, how does a movement like this consolidate, learn the know since -- learn the lessons necessary? movements rise in movements fall. and it was you are able to get ,he key lessons of each period and is capitalism has bee so resilient at shape shifting, how does the movement adapt to the new conditions? >> i have got good news for you. this movement is going to rock. juan asked the struggle and moments and how we pulled together -- we already pull together. we did a terrific job of pulling together, and we did it before a presidential race. if we had a media in this country that actually covers politics --
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[cheers and applause] that since the ,all street meltdown of 2008 when americans saw exactly what the priorities of our economic and political elites were and began to form movements against austerity, against economic adjustment, against the racial divisions that extended from that andustice, and favor of immigrant rights -- we have had these movements. climate change has been in the street spirit effect of the matter is these movements existed before this presidential campaign, and they were on the rise. and one of the biggest mistakes we make is to let a presidential campaign tell us we are not rising. amy: john nichols of the nation magazine speaking at the
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people's summit in chicago. before that, naomi klein and juan gonzalez, who we will both hear from again when we come back, along with dr. rosario dawson. stay with us. ♪ [music break] amy: "my guy" by mary wells. i am amy goodman and we go back to the people's summit, a major conference that took place in chicago over the weekend.
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we will hear more from naomi klein, but first we turn to democracy now!'s own juan gonzalez questioning actor and activist rosario dawson. osario has been very upfront with her support of bernie sanders, took a lot of heat from a lot of places to it where do you see this incredible movement going? what is the vision that is most important for folks to cling to at this time as we head into the conventions of both the democrats and the republicans and then the election in november? most of partly, what happens afterwards? be here,o thrilled to so grateful that this exists, that this forethought and the movement was focused on and committed to in order to bring this moment for all of us to be together, not knowing what would be happening around us in an election that knowing we would
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need to be together no matter wh, and we do. we very much need to have visibility with each other. it is great that we have these hashtags that go off and that we are talking to each otr and these different groups, that we need to see each other and to creech to the choir and invent a choir,- preach to the and we need to invigorate each other. the campaign is this calling to encourage courage, and you all are doing that. and we need to continue doing that. to do, as you said, like, anding feet to the street -- don't count me out. vote inh your feet and the street. you have to march, and you have to march to the polls. you have to have both. it has to be a comprehensive thing. sometimes it does mean that people will vote, organize, transle, and some people will
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get arrested. but we need to support each other in these different instances, understanding the corporations and businesses and traits and countries, they all worked with each other. they have a long game. i will scratch your back, and in four or eight years, you scratch my back. is a long game going it we're stuck in the reaction in fighting for the little bits we can get. i have seen it over and over again in the philanthropic community where people are going, i have a certain amount of money i am going to make this year, and i have to lobby for it. one organization alive. thatow can we make it so those moneys come to all of us and we all work together, work collaboratively with each other? they are not sacrificing each other up there. they are all working with each other. even when it looks like, oh, there is something, maybe they have fallen out, but do not get
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it twisted. do not get so excited by the news like, oh, she is going to leave as the dnc chair or something like that, she is getting a slap on the wrist -- no, these are gestures and movements. like, it is not -- we have to be able to see through these moments being reactive and being proactive. and being proactive means staying the course. and that was required before this movement of movements and will long commence after. and then you have to defend your position. and you lose and you have got to defend your position. you win and lose because there are a lot of us here that are all grappling for things. we need to understand it. otherwise, it is the same cycle where half the country thinks they lost with a president, and they dig their heels and against
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everything. then they run on a platform of undermining everything. that is not a way to have any kind of progress. that is not building anything, not creating anything. and i have talked to so many people who are doing that, creating things and developing things come a particularly relationships, networking with each other, talking with each other recognizing, wow, i did a lot of organizing. in a what, i could do that for you. you wa to run for office? how about me? maybe i will run for office. [cheers and applause] but these are the conversations i am seeing of young people and people across the nation who are discovering the power. a cousin they were compelled to do something that moved them -- because they were compelled to do something that moves with them, and it was like a calling to her they did not even really think about it. hitting into bernie sanders
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and thinking it would be part of my life, and then i decided, why not let it speak to my soul? that is with the movement has done for people. like, i was not alive until this moment. and now i am so alive, and there is no going back on that. so this narrative of like, oh, you lost, you are a sore loser, like, i am sorry, i am looking at a sea of thousands of people, so i do not know how thiis losing. juan: naomi, i wanted to ask you , the international aspect of this, we are not in isolation, what is going on here. is as the world, there people's fight going on, d this is only a reflection of that. i am wondering your sense of that from your travels. >> yeah, i mean, there has been this migration from the streets to forming a lyrical parties,
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and it is complicated. i completely agree that all of this work on the electoral front and the diversifying on every level in a brand-new congress is really important, but we also have to remember that movements produce this moment. we have to do something really complicated where we have to build out all of these electoral possibilitieshile understanding that these politicians will be nothing unless they are backed by social movements and accountable to those social movements. there would be no bernie moment without the fight for 15, black lives, matter, the immigrant rights movement, all of them. it is not an either-or. that is the beauty of moving forward, seeing how we can complement each other. with some of these movements,
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they went too far in. i was speaking to some friends in spain who went from the loste, realizing that they the street power. cities, as well. so everybody is in this process of learning. we are all in communication with each other. being in the square and having people from spain and thet there, and is said movement at the grassroots level are now giving each other ideas. and at the political level. thethat leadership will be first to tl you that they learned from a left-wing movement in latin america. he went to ecuador and bolivia. so we are in nversation. i will tell you a funny story. i have dual citizenship. i canadian. i only tell this among friends. i have -- i am a child of draft
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dodgers. we came during the vietnam war. worked iny father heth care, so weeft the u.s. because of t war, but we stayed for the health care, for the universal single-payer health care. it works, by the way. anyway. -- i found ourselves in a will back up a little bit. i just want to insert one point, and i feel my friend bill mckibben on stage with me now who is fighting in sweaty phoenix hotel room, trying to get the best language in the democratic party platform possible, trying to make sure it has strong anti-fracking language and strong language be counting out new fossil fuel leases on federal land. he has been there.
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and if he were here, and he wishes he was, u know what he would say? we have got a deadline, folks. yes, we are winning, but we do not have all the time in the world. the thing about climate change is, you know, whoever the next to power is, they come with their backs up against the wall when it comes to climate change, which means there is no honeymoon, baby. chae,is no give her a you know? i mean, we have to be in their demanding no new fossil fuel infrastructure. we need to build the infrastructure of the future. [applause] fuel we're going to shame them for every dollar they take from an oil and gas company. [cheers and applause] yes, we are to make it toxic. i may writer, and i think
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deadlines help. this is the thing about climate change. we have to turn this around by the end of this decade, no joke. is, how doge we face we transform our energy system, recognizing that we live in a time of multiple overlapping crises? urgentimate change is an crisis, but so is racial injustice, so is economic inequality. so there are all these other crises we face. so we will not claim my crisis is bigger than yours. no, we're going to figure out ways to lower emissions while healing the wounds that dates back to the founding of our country, and it is possible to do. found ourselves in a situion not dissimilar to the one you are finding yourselves in where we had an
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election a year ago, and mostly the energy of that election, on the progressive side, was the energy of no. this was bore everody got excited about our hot new president. it was about getting rid of our right-wing government. a it was very much a no vote, strategic vote, and none of the major progressive or liberal alternatives were taking climate change seriously, were connecting economic injustice, racial injustice, and justice towards indigenous people, and the need to act quickly and with boldness when facing the climate crisis. ,o a group of us got together 60 movement organizers and leaders, and we wrote our own people's platform. we launched it right in e middle of e election platform. this was our attempt to say our
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dreams do not fit on your ballot. we are going to vote out the worst guy, but that does not represent the world we want it we have created space to dream. what was interesting, it was that platform, the manifesto was just endorsed by one of our major political parties, and it was the young people that resoed to debate it across the countr itas the young people in the party that drove it. and i was watching this play out. i was not at the convention. but the young people, several of them were wearing bernie t-shirts as they were making their impassioned pleas that now is the time for boldness and small steps are not enough. so we're joined from each other. amy: that is author and activist amy klein and before that, rosario dawson and juan
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gonzalez. we will be back to talk about gun control in a minute. ♪ [music break] amy: "the devils war and god's blue sea." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the senate is expected to vote today on four gun control measures. none of the bills would reinstate an assault weapon ban. it comes after chris murphy staged a filibuster for nearly
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15 hours last week to demand action on gun control after the orlando massacre. we turn now to look at how australia fought to change its culture of gun violence and won. in april of 1996, a gunman opened fire opened fire on tourists in port arthur, tasmania, killing 35 people and wounding 23 others. attack,days after the australia's conservative government responded by announcing a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. since the laws were passed, there has not been a mass shooting in australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50%. last week, i spoke with rebecca peters, an international arms control advocate. i asked her about reforming australia's gun laws after the massacre. : we had a massacre about once a year, and each time there was an outcry. there was a lot of grief and anger and discussion about what
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should happen and pressure on the politicians, but each time the politicians had said, well, it should not be a party political issue, but neither of the major parties was prepared to move first. i suppose the thing that theened was the electoral, electoral makeup of the government favored us at the time. we had just had a new government elected, a conservative government. in a sense, it is easier for a conservative government to change the gun laws, because the conservative party was seen more as the natural ally of the gun lobby. we thought you know, it was particularly courageous of the conservative prime minister to say, i am going to deal with this was and for all. amy: explain, over the two weeks and then the year, what exactly
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the rules were that got passed for the people of australia and -- well,ively dramatic i mean, no more massacres in australia. ms. peters: yeah, so the principle change was the ban on semiautomatic weapons, rifles and shotguns, assault weapons, and that was accompanied by a huge buyback. the initial buyback of those weapons, almost 700,000 guns were collected and destroyed. there were several further iterations over the years, and now almost one million guns have been collected and destroyed in australia. also, the thing is, sometimes countries will make a little tweak in their laws, but you have to take a comprehensive approach. ofyou just ban one type weapon or just one category of person, if you do not do something about the overall supply, then, basically, it is
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very unlikely that your gun laws will succeed. this was a comprehensive reform related to the importation, sale, possession, conditions in which people could have guns, stories, those kinds of things, the situations in which guns could be withdrawn their it often, there's not much thought given to, ok, the focus is on notpeople can buy guns but much that is given to and what circumstances those guns should be removed. for example, obviously, if someone does not qualify to own gun -- if they qualify the beginning but then they do something that makes them unqualified, they should lose their license in their gun. that is an important part of australia's gun laws, as well. somebody who is committed to mystic violence, for example, who has a gun legally will lose that gun and the license. amy: this is a critical point, because the ex-wife of omar mateen said he beat her and had an up session with guns. she was not talking about him as
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a muslim extremist. she was talking about him as a wife abuser, a man mentally ill, and a man obsessed with guns and wanting to be a cop. ms. peters: exactly, and domestic violence usually does not turn up in a criminal record. as we know, most domestic violence is not result in a criminal conviction. in fact, most of us to violence is not involve a legal process at all. but local police and family members know about domestic violence. so a crucial part of the new laws is proper checking of the background of people who are applying to have guns. not only domestic violence. it is also depression and alcohol abuse and many other factors to make a person at risk of violence, not to mention racistwho are vehemently or resentful. i guess the thing is, what those of us in other countries think when we see one of these tragedies in america, we have people all around the world who are full of unhappiness, hatred,
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resentment, whatever, but in other countries, those people do not have easy access to weapons designed to kill lots of people. amy: i wanted to turn to a clip of president obama speaking last week about the nation pose a gun laws. president obama: i just came from a meeting today in the situation rooin which i got people who we know have been on websites living here in the united states, u.s. citizens, and were allowed -- and we are allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines, but because of the national rifle association, i cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun. nown is somebody who is , deskspervisor
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sympathizer, and if he wants to walk into a gun store or gun show right now and buy as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing is prohibiting him from doing that, even though the fbi knows who that person is. amy: that is president obama speaking on june 2. it is not after this massacre that took place at the pulse nightclub in orlando. that was just june 2. respond to what the president said. ms. peters: he is absolutely right. that is the approach that other countries take. in australia, we still have hunting and target shooting. people still owned guns in australia. it is just that they do not own assault weapons, and they have to qualify. they have to proceed through a more stringent process to qualify. amy: was there any campaign launch, like you are a wimp if you need a semiautomatic weapon to take down and animal? ms. peters: in fact, absolutely
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we had interesting ally spirit one was that australia's olympic shooters who did very well and the atlantic olympics, they handed in their semiautomatics, and they said that we support the new gumballs laws. an organization of professional shooters in australia, like the original crocodile dundee, super macho guys employed to clear out feral animals from the national parks, they said, if you need a semi automatic weapon to kill an animal, then you are a city boy who should not be out here with a gun in the first place. , thee knew in australia opinion polls and surveys of gun owners showed that most gun owners supported commonsense gun laws, reasonable restrictions. but it was the gun lobby that always took this very extreme position that opposed absolutely any change. that is similar in the u.s.. it is just that in australia,
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that gun lobby to not get its way. amy: rebecca peters, you are in new york because of the conference on gun control that just took place. can you talk about what happened, and what was the role of the u.s. in it? ms. peters: we just had the u.n. conference on small arms that occurs every couple years here at the united nations. all countries of the world come together to talk about what to do about guns, gun trafficking, gun violence, and to try to move soard some kind of consensus that countries can work together. because guns travel across borders internationally, just as they travel across state borders within the u.s. at this conference, there is an attempt to try to advance the process of cooperating between countries. unfortunately at this conference, the u.s. being the largest many facture and largest
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exporter of guns in the world, position thata was limiting on the progress that could be made. for example, one of the topics of for discussion was, should ammunition be regulated? everyone in the u.n. agrees that guns should be regulated, but what about ammunition? we know that ammunition is what makes guns suddenly. in fact, someone who has a gun illegally and undetected depends on being able to get ammunition tohout regulation to be able commit crimes per most countries in the world, overwhelmingly the majority of countries, want to regulate ammunition, as well. unfortunately, the u.s., along with countries like egypt, iran, they took the position that ammunition should not be regulated. amy: the united states? the obama administration? ms. peters: well, the united states delegation at the u.n. conference was one of the
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countries that was opposing the inclusion of ammunition in the final agreement. amy: on what grounds? ms. peters: well, it seems to be on the basis that it would restrict the liberty of american amy: and what is your response to that? ms. peters: my response is that people who do not have -- failing to restrict ammunition makes ammunition available to criminals, and there is absolutely no reason why -- i mean, you have gun control laws in the u.s. they are not very strict and many places, but obviously, ammunition should be regulated, as well. amy: so you are saying the u.s. joined egypt and iran in trying to stymie world regulation around guns? ms. peters: well, what they tried to do was reduce the strength of the agreement. so very's measures, which most countries in the world wanted to have in order to have a strong agreement at the end and to
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provide a mandate for countries to do a lot more against the problem of guns, these countries, more conservative countries like the u.s., egypt, and iran, were against that. amy: we talked about australia and the united states. can you give an example of other countries? ms. peters: sure. the best comparison for the u.s. to make as with other developed countries, other countries where the rule of law is in place and where police forces work reasonably well. there is no point in comparing the u.s. with developing countries are countries in conflict or things like that. but say, in canada, and germany, and france, in european countries, and australia, all of those countries have a similar approach, which is, you apply proper screening for people who want to have guns. you do not permit people to have any gun they want.
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you put some kind of limit on the arsenals that can be built up, and you take into account the knowledge of the people who are best able to tell you whether there is anything of concern about a person. so in those countries, the police are able to use their faculties to inquire, rather than just looking on a computer to see if someone has a criminal conviction. amy: let me toss to what the republican result of nominee for president, donald trump, said today on cnn. mr. trump: if you had some guns in that club the night this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you would not have the tragedy that you had. if people in that room had guns, they would have pointed it the opposite direction right at him, right at his head, you would not have had the same tragedy you ended up happening, and nobody even knows have at that tragedy is, because i think probably the numbers will get bigger and bigger and worse and worse. amy: that is donald trump your
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response? ms. peters: i mean, to have a crowded dark place with a lot of noise and a lot of people moving around, to have another person shooting in that place or many more people shooting in that place, that would have increased the danger. the answer to the problem of too many guns is an even larger number of guns makes absolutely no sense at all. amy: where does the u.s. stand when it comes to gun massacres in the industrialized world? ms. peters: well, the u.s. has the highest rate of gun deaths in the industrialized world. the rates of gun deaths in the u.s. are about 11 times higher than in australia, and up to 15 to 20 times higher than in some other developed countries. but in terms of massacres, the u.s. has had a larger number of massacres even then countries in the developing world, countries
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and conflicts. the number of mass shootings that occur in the u.s. are more than any other country in the world. amy: rebecca leaders helped lead a campaign 20 years ago to reform australia's demos after a massacre that killed 35 people. australia has not had a mass shooting in the past 20 years. she is part of the international network on small arms and she was in new york last week for major human conference on guns. and that does it for our show. if you want to see part one of the interview, go to also, there are several job openings, including news producer and an office coordinator. find out more at democracy now is produced by mike burke, nermeen shaikh, carla wills, laura gottesdiener, deena guzder, amy littlefield sam alcoff, robby karran, hany massoud, charina nadura, juan carlos davila, and pedro rodriguez. mike di fillippo, miguel nogueira, and paul huckeby are our engineers. special thanks to becca staley, julie crosby, hugh gran, david prude, ariel boone, vesta goodarz, anthony manzo and carl marxer. and to our camera crew, jon randolph, kieran meadows, anna
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ozbek, and matt ealy. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. email your comments to or mail them to: democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, ny 10013. [captioning made possible by
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