tv Democracy Now LINKTV October 20, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
unlike anything we have seen in a long time. amy: from kellogg's to john deere, thousands of workers are on strike across the united states in what some have described as striketober. we will get the latest and speak to a striking worker at john deere. plus we will look at why a group of taxi drivers in new york are launching a hunger strike to demand debt relief for thousands of drivers. >> we want justice. we want action. amy: and we go to buffalo, new york to speak with democratic mayoral candidate india walton. >> i think that, for a person to expect my children have a quality education, a healthy place of live, safe places to play and access to clean air and water is very reasonable. amy: india walton is black nurse and mother of four who is trying to become the first socialist mayor of a major american city in decades. but many top democrats are refusing to endorse her, even though she won the democratic primary, beating
the four term incumbent. the head of the new york democratic party is facing calls to resign after comparing her to former ku klux klan leader david duke. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in brazil, a leaked draft of a senate report accuses far-right president jair bolsonaro of multiple crimes related to his mishandling of the pandemic, saying he should be charged with "crimes against humanity." the senate investigation finds he chose to let covid-19 spread throughout the population in the hopes of achieving herd immunity. brazil has recorded over 600,000 coronavirus deaths. the report blames the bolsonaro administration's policies for over half of those. in the united states, the house committee investigating the january 6 capitol insurrection has recommended a criminal contempt charge against trump white house adviser steve bannon for defying a congressional subpoena.
this is the committee's chair, mississippi congressmember bennie thompson. >> the rules of law remains under attack right now. is there no accountability for these abusers? are there different sets of rules for different types of people? then our democracy is in serious trouble. amy: at the white house, president biden met with a group of democratic lawmakers tuesday where he reportedly lowered the topline pricetag on the reconciliation bill yet again, saying it could be as low as $1.75 trillion, half of the $3.5 trillion democrats were hoping to pass. key climate programs and free community college are some of the provisions that could be dropped due to obstruction by conservative democrats joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. paid family leave could also be slashed to just four weeks, down from a proposed 12 weeks.
congress member pramila jayapal, chair of the congressional progressive caucus spoke after leaving the meeting with biden. >> at the end of the day, the idea that we can do these programs, a multitude of programs and actually get them going so that they deliver transformational benefits to people is what we are focused on. amy: on monday, a senate appropriations committee panel approved an additional $29 billion for the pentagon, $10 billion more than was requested, bringing its annual budget to nearly $726 billion. that is more than twice the annual cost of the build back better act, even before any cuts. they build back better act would vastly expand the social safety net and combat the climate crisis in large part by fairly taxing corporations and the wealthiest americans. a group of sunrise movement climate activists are beginning a hunger strike outside the white house today to demand congress and president biden pass the
climate-crisis provisions in the reconciliation package. the youth activists made the decision to strike following news that democrats could cut a key measure which would promote renewable energy to replace fossil fuels, as a concession to senator manchin. in related news, a new report published by the u.n. environment program finds that governments are planning to extract double the amount of fossil fuels between now and 2030 than would be consistent with the 2015 paris climate accord's target of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees celsius. in michigan, activists took peaceful direct action to shut down enbridge's line 5 pipeline. in may, governor gretchen whitmer ordered enbridge to shut down the tar sands oil pipeline, calling it a "ticking time bomb," but they continued to operate, threatening the fragile waterway of the straits of mackinac, and sovereign indigenous lands. this is a water protector speaking before cutting off the pipeline tuesday. >> enbridge violates the
public trust everyecond that line five continues to erate. enbridge kwingly violated the terms of the agreement and failed to correct structural shortcomings in the line five pipeline. furthermore, line fi has already spilled 33 different times, totaling over 1.1 million gallons of oil. amy: here in new york city, elected leaders joined activists at a press conference outside national grid's headquarters protesting the north brooklyn pipeline and proposed price hikes to 2 million new yorkers' gas bills. this is new york city councilmember and democratic candidate for brooklyn borough president, antonio reynoso. >> they want us come of ones who are going to suffer because of it, to pay the bill on the future harm to our health. we want to stop that.
amy: in more climate news, another u.n. report out this week warns the last 3 mountain glaciers on the africa continent are receding so quickly that they could disappear altogether within the next two decades. 118 million people already living in poverty could face drought, floods or extreme heat. african countries make up 17% of the global population but arresponsible for less than 4% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. in yemen, the city -- the u.n. is calling for a ceasefire in the city of marib, where tens of thousands of civilians in need of medical care are trapped as fighting intensifies between saudi-backed yemeni forces and houthi rebels to seize control of the city. the saudi-led coalition said it had recently killed at least 160 houthi rebels in air raids. the u.n. also warned yemen's economy is collapsing and its humanitarian crisis worsening, with more than 20 million yemenis, or two-thirds of the population, in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.
this comes as unicef is reporting at least 10,000 yemeni children have been killed or injured throughout the brutal war in yemen. this is a unicef spokesperson. >> four out of every five children need humanitarian assistance. that is 11 million. 400,000 suffer acute not attrition. they are literally on deaths door. more than 2 million are out of school and 4 million more are at risk. amy: at least 14 refugees have died and zens of others have been reported missing in the mediterranean sea in recent days as people fleeing extreme poverty, violence and the effects of the climate crisis continue to take on the dangerous trek to europe. some 230 people were recently rescued off spain's balearic islands. meanwhile the german humanitarian vessel sea watch 3 led seven rescue missions on sunday and monday, saving dozens of refugees from drowning off the coast of libya. in chile, at least 450 protesters were arrested and two were reported dead as
police clashed with thousands of people who took to the streets of santiago, and across the country, monday. protesters were marking the second anniversary of a massive uprising against the right-wing government of president sebastian piner a. the mobilizations in 2019 also triggered efforts to rewrite the chilean constitution, which was created under the u.s.-backed dictator augusto pinochet. recent protests come just one month before chileans head to the polls to elect a new president. a group of central american mothers searching for their children traveled to the u.s. this week for the first time ever as they continue to demand action to find their missing loved ones, and denounce human rights violations against central american migrants. members of the caravan of mothers of disappeared migrants from central america shared their testimonies with elected officials in washington,
d.c. yesterday. here in new york, a group of mothers gathered at a rally in corona, queens tuesday night. this is aracely de mejia, a mother from el salvador, who has been searching for her son edwin alexander since september 2012. >> we mothers don't believe in borders. we have participated in different caravans. we have pushed for different petitions to find our children. we have done dna tests with our government in our home countries, but in el salvador, no one has listened to us. amy: in other immigration news unpublished data from , customs and border protection shows arrests by the border patrol shot up to its highest levels since 1986. over 1.7 million migrants were detained along the u.s.-mexico border during the 2021 fiscal year that ended in september. this according to analysis by the washington post. in parkland, florida, the families of the 17 people who were killed during the 2018 massacre at marjory stoneman douglas high school
have reached a $25 million settlement with the broward county school district. others who were wounded or survived the mass shooting were also part of the agreement. this comes as shooter nikolas cruz, a former student at the high school, is expected to plead guilty today to 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. texas is one step closer to enacting a heavily gerrymandered redistricting plan after both chambers of the legislature approved the new map, sending the measure to republican governor greg abbott's desk for signing. the map severely diminishes the electoral voice of communities of color, giving disproportionate voting power to white texans and republicans. texas also gained two house seats this year. the state's population growth is largely due to an increase in people of color, but republicans still gave white voters effective control of the new districts. in colorado, the family of elijah mcclain has reached a tentative settlement deal with the city of aurora in a federal civil rights lawsuit
over mcclain's 2019 death. elijah mcclain, a 23-year-old black man, was tackled by police, placed in a chokehold and later injected with a large amount of the powerful sedative, ketamine. he died several days later. separately from this settlement, 3 police officers and 2 paramedics were indicted last month on manslaughter and homicide charges. a recent investigation confirmed a pattern of racially biased policing in -- policing and use of excessive force in the aurora police department. and in new york city, a prominent statue of thomas jefferson statue will be removed from city hall, after a years-long push from black and latino council members. this is councilmember adrienne adams. >> thomas jefferson was a slaveholder who owned over 600 human beings. african slaves.
he reap the epidemic never -- the economic benefits of slave labor. he maintained the notion that black people were inferior to white people. i believe it is time for us as a city to tn the page and move forward. amy: those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! co-host juan gonzalez. hi juan. juan: hi amy, and welcome to all of our listeners and viewers across the country and around the world. amy: we begin today's show with what a number of people are calling striketober, as workers across the united states in a wide variety of industries are walking off the job. thousands have gone on strike at food plants operated by kellogg's, nabisco and frito-lay over work hours, pay and benefits. last week more than 24,000 kaiser permanente healthcare workers in california authorized a strike. now 10,000 united automobile workers members at john
deere are also on strike, saying they were forced to work overtime while the company made record profits. the list goes onand includes more than 1,000 coal miners on strike at warrior met in alabama, as we've covered here at democracy now! this comes as the union representing television and film production crews averted a strike of some 60,000 workers just hours before a midnight deadline saturday, when it reached a tentative agreement with an association of hollywood producers representing companies like walt disney, netflix, and amazon. the tentative deal brings members of the international alliance of theatrical stage employees higher pay, longer breaks and better healthcare and pension benefits. some members say the deal does not go far enough and about 40,000 members from 13 hollywood locals must still approve the pact. these are two iatse members in los angeles, costume
maker yuan thueson and thomas pieczkolon, who works in sound production, in a video by more perfect union. >> we te onbreak atix houron the ctract that arctic -that ournion netiated lgo. th are tryg not toave a eak becae of the d't brk for luh, they pay a me penalty those naltiesaven't been updated nce t mid-19's so for them,t is pnies. theyan makus work0 or 11ours saighand pay fo the mea penalty. it doesn't matter at the end of the day wheit is am. >> we've seen g compans proding big-dget prects ande know tt theyre popul, they are sellg and pele are watchingt but ou cw woing on tse projes are tting pd like $10 lessn hour just because it is new media. amy: for more on this u.s. strike wave, we're joined by
alex press in pittsburgh staff writer at jacobin , where one of her recent pieces is headlined "u.s. workers are in a militant mood." she's also host of a podcast about amazon workers called "primer." in a few minutes, we'll also speak with a john deere worker on strike in iowa, and we will talk with a representative of the taxi workers going on hunger strikes in new york, but let's look at this strike first that was averted. the iatse workers, 60,000 of them. alex press, can you talk about iatse and broader to striketober? alex: thanks for having me. 60,000 iatse members voted to strike. 90% of eligible voters cast ballots that strike. that strike would have been the largest one in the private sector of the unit it states since gm into
thousand seven. it reflected a charged up mobilized membership. the reason for their sense of urgency, willingness to risk losing a paycheck is motivated by what was said in that deo by the workers. the schedule of an iatse member. they are concerned with turnaround time, the minimum time a worker has from when she leaves work to when she is excited to be back. iatse has secured ten-hour turnarounds in the tentative agreement, which is progress for some members who had nine hours. many members already had 10 and it is important number that in this industry, 12 and 14 hour days are the norm butven 20 houdays are not unheard of. it is important that workers have the time to commute home, eat, spend time with family and get a good night sleep before commuting back to work. workers are saying i've had 10 hours, it is not enough and we want 12. witte think people should
keep in mind is the agreement is called tentative for a reason. it is up to the membership to decide whether they are going to ratify that agreement. there were members who have concerns around other things like pensions, the raises. currently, inflation is 5% some of -- so for the lowest paid iatse members, this is a story to keep an eye o n. they will vote on it and discuss it amongst each other. there is a broader movement going on, the strike at john deere. there, too, the workers rejected this tentative agreement overwhelmingly because deere has seen immense profits, the most profitable year on record. the ceo got a 100% raise, while workers were presented with an ultimatum that they would have to accept concessions. john deere told them that new hires would not have pensions anymore.
these are illustrative of a moment where workers are willing to fight back. they understand they have more leverage right now. the labor market is tighter than usual, it is harder to replace them if they go on strike, and they are not willing to accept bad deals and they are willing to fight to get what they have given up before. juan: ale i wanted to ask about the impact of the new -- the relive newcomers to the industry, to the film and video industry. that used to be just the old hollywood studios but now we havehese giant digital companies with netflix, amazon and apple that are pouring billions into the production of content. how have these new forces affected the labor conditions? obviously there are more workers but how have they
affected the overall labor conditions? alex: it is a couple things. first they sped up the amount of work happening. everyone knows plenty of people were at home binging netflix. these streamers, these streaming platforms have immense amount of demand for content. they are trying to turn it out. they're constantly moving from project to project and the way it is allowed for them to have these working conditions is that these companies have different agreements with iatse. in 2009, they struck a deal with iatse. netflix was just barely out, it was something that was still mailing you a dvd at home. there was an agreement strike that said workers would need to be more flexible here. the warning was that these are uncertain economies. that deal was agreed upon. it also said when things
change, if these companies become profitable, both parties will recognize that and this agreement will change. there has been this demand from the workers that it is obviously time and these are the dominant players in the industry. amazon, netflix, these are the new powers, and so it does not make a lot of sense for them to be able to not contribute as much to pensions, pay workers less, things like that. juan: and generally speaking, there has been a lot of talk about thsheet -- about the labor shortage right now, the increased leverage that workers have in demanding better conditions, but there has -- there was an article in the new york times talking about the number of workers who a result of the panmic no longer feel they need to be chained to a 9-to-5 job. can you talk about how the labor movement itself is being transformed as a result of the pandemic?
alex: absolutely. we see this reflected even among nonunion workers in what people are calling the great resignation. the numbers came out from the department of labor that shows that in august, almost 3% of the u.s. workforce quit their jobs, about 4 million or so workers, which is an enormous number of people. a lot of those workers are trying to switch industries, a lot of them are finding better deals or trying to navigate the labor market for themselves. it reflects a reevaluation of priorities. workers i speak to all the time across various industries say the pandemic showed them it is not worth it to risk your life and the health of your family for a job or employer who does not treat you well and might be willing to kill you, not taking the right protections to protect you from covid. workers have said, especially iatse is a great example but those workers in the food and manufacturing
sector who have been on strike because they worked 80 hours a week. they say a good life is not just work and if that is not a deal that is on offer, i am not keeping this job anymore. amy: we are going to break but alex, we want you to stay with us as we speak with a worker at john deere on the picket line and also got right here to new york, to speak with one of the main organizers of the taxi workers who are facing an increasing number of suicides dealing with massive debt, costly medallions as they try to compete with companies like uber and lyft. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
than 10,000 john deere workers at 14 plants including seven in iowa, four in illinois and one each in kansas, colorado and georgia. today marks the seventh day of the strike and negotiations resumed on monday. workers who are manning picket lines at the john deere plant in des moines, iowa will get a visit today from u.s. secretary of agriculture and former iowa governor, tom vilsack according to united auto workers local 450. for more on what workers are demanding, we go to ottumwa, iowa to speak with chris laursen, who is a painter at the ottumwa works factory in iowa, and has worked for john deere for over 19 years. he is a former president and member of united automobile workers local 74. welcome to democracy now! explain what the demands are. we are also with alex press who writes extensively about strikes and workers across the country. chris: good morning.
it is a pleasure to join you this morning. we have seen a tentative agreement that we had a ratification vote on, on october 4 and we have seen a very paltry wage increase, no improvements to the incentive plan, no language to address any of the failings there and the big nonstarter for a lot of people was the fact that any new hires coming in after the first november of this year would not be entitled to a pension but rather a 401(k) pension program. a lot of us are not willing to adjust our retirement benefits on wall stet speculation. deere is in the wake of record profits, set to make
5.9 billion dollars this year. they just ordered their ceo with a 106 he percent salary increase. they gave their investors a 17% quarterly dividend hike back in august. for a worker like me over the next six years, right out the gate, making about $20 an hour and this could be about a dollar wage increase for me, followed up with about two dollars at the end of the six years. what we are asking for is a fair shake and something equitable. i like to quote walther -- walter reuther here. we don't want a bigger slice of the pie, we want a bigger pie. let's negotiate. juan: chris, you mentioned record profits. how has the company been able to achieve
profitability in the midst of the pandemic and the sharp downturn that occurred in the economy last year as a result of the shutdown? chris: that is a great question. for deere workers, there was no shut down or locked down. we came into work every day, we worked overtime not only exposing ourselves, our family, our friends. at the end of the day, we feel that the offer brought up is very arrogant and classist. it is not going to cut it and that is why we sent a direct clear message to deere, when nine of 10 workers voted to send them back to the negotiating table. juan: and there are generations of your families who have been at dee. can you talk about the importance of a company like deere, to the labor movement in the country?
chris: john deere ottumwa works in many places, john deere in waterloo, you have generations that have worked there, families that are very invested in this company, grandparents and parents and children. if you walk down on the picket line, you will see families. it is a family event. people have come down to support and the amount of support we have gotten from the community has been amazing and overwhelming. so many donations from businesses and people on the street who will come and walk our picket line. you will see cars driving by waving and honking in solidarity. we are impressed and thankful from the outpouring support from the community. amy: chris, can you talk about the significance of the u.s. agriculture secretary, the former governor of iowa, coming to
stand on the picket line, and how the company is responding? chris: i can't speak to how the company is going to respond, but we certainly appreciate the secretary coming to iowa and walking our picket line with us. we have seen a large number of politicians and people on the legislature come to walk the picket line and show their support. we are very grateful he is coming down and walking with us. amy: we want to thank you, chris laursen for joining us -- chris laursen, for joining us. painter at john deere ottumwa works factory in iowa, member uaw local 74. here's the president of iatse, matthew loeb speaking on friday. alex press, can you put the strike at john deere in perspective with the other
strikes going on like at kellogg's? alex: these are all private sector strikes. that is where the uptick is happening which is very unusual. public-sector workers right now are largely focused on the go sheeting a safe return to work. they have not been striking as much. the fact that private-sector workers who traditionally have lower strike rates, a strike is important. also these are different sectors, different industries within the economy. we have fo manufacturing, john deere, health care workers, iatse, this reflects a real broad willingness to fight. also what is important is what chris mentioned which is the company wanted to create a two-tiered contract on pensions. they said new hires will have a worse deal and workers know that is going to weaken their own union. it is not just about
protecting future workers, it is protecting themselves to refuse these deals. companies think workers are willing to put up with whatever they are given and workers know that the moment has changed. the pandemic has made them willing to fight back and that is the picture of what is going on and why this keeps spreading. amy: we're going to turn to another strike that is underway, this one in new york city where a group of taxi drivers are launching a hunger strike today. demanding the city enact debt relief for thousands of drivers who've been devastated by massive debt, accrued largely due to the artificially inflated cost of taxi medallions. this comes after taxi drivers held a 30-day, round-the-clock protest outside city hall. drivers have also been denouncing the mental health impacts triggered by the financial ruin. at least nine drivers have died by suicide. this is striking new york city taxi driver richard chow, speaking tuesday to
decracy now! >> i've been working for 16 years. is hunger strike is very imrtant for us because we are fighting not oy for my own, we are fighting for 6000 medallion owning -- medallion owne whore struggling with financial hardship. we lost everything because the city program is not helping us because we are - so we are fighting for this crisis so we can save the 6 million -- six thousand medallion owners and we can survive. my brother committed suide , nine drivers have committed suicide. this fight is very important
for us. i don't want to see another driver committing suicide like my brother. that is why we must win this fight and we can survive. amy: for more, we are joined byhairavi desai, the executive director and a founding member of the new york taxi workers alliance, the union that represents thousands of taxi drivers in new york city. bhairavi, welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about the dire situation faced by taxi drivers in new york? bhairavi: it has been devastating. we've had nine ivers suicide. at this point where drivers have an average debt of $550,000. the city basically has no solution. they've come out with what is essentially a cash bailout to the banks, but no relief for the drivers. thousands of families e going to be left in a debt
that is beyond their lifetime and they will be earning below minimum wage just to pay it off. juan: bhairavi, i wonder if you could talk about how the crisis got to this spot where at one point, i think under the bloomberg administration they were auctioning medallions at more than $1 million each. how was it that this huge debt piled up on so many taxi drivers? bhairavi: the city of new york issues medallions, which is just the number you see on top of the cab. it's a permit that allows yellow cabs to have exclusive street rights across new york city. the commission that sets the opening bid in 2013 set the opening bid at $850,000.
the scandal goes back to several years now, after 9/11 and the economic impact, the bloomberg administration stard to auction off medallions to rae revenue for the city. in the process, they raised over $855 million off of the backs of the drivers. several government agencies noted that the city inflated the value of the medallions. campaigns were done to predominantly -- and then the same officials allowed uber and lyft without regulati, which crashed the market. between 2011 and 2019, drivers saw a decrease of 44% of their earnings. meanwhile these expenses had remained completely fit and
that is why they are in such deep underwater. this is day 31 that we've been out on the streets, a 24/7 protest where we have yet to hear from our mayor. juan: mayor de blasio has much support from the taxi and limousine industry when he ran for mayor and promised to try and resolve the crisis facing the yellow cab driver. what has he actually done? bhairavi: it took three years for the city to pass a cap on the number of vehicles because we all know that a central part of uber and lyft's business model has been to flood the streets with cars. by the time the cap was passed, there were more than 80,000 vehicles on the road and today, when there was an average debt of $550,000, the mayor had passed -- task
the taxi commission come up with a program, but all they could do was come up with a $20,000 grant programhere according to their own rules and regulations, the banks and private equity firms could even charge as much as $2000 a month to a driver. there is no solution. the second part of the proposal is a $9,000 subsidy, because they themselvesnow that they are leaving drivers set up for failure where they will not be able to pay off these debts, and that they are agreeing to subsidize drivers' payments for a year. we are not looking for subsidies, we are looking for real relief so people can get on with their lives. we have seen so many members at have died early deaths, and so many drivers that
have had strokes and are permanently paralyzed. widows of drivers who are retired and now have a payment that is even more thanheir social security monthly income. this is a dire crisis of poverty. we have a solution that has been endorsed by the senate majority leader, chuck schumer. the entire new york city congressional delegation, over 70 state and city elected officials and popular support across the city of new york, and yet the mayor is not even reading -- meeting at the table to discuss a proposal that the cost the city of new york less than $3 million a year. mind you, the city has a budget, annually of $100 billion. they took $850 million off of the back of drivers.
our proposal costs the city less than $3 million to bring our people out of povertynd debt beyond their lifetime. amy: bhairavi, very quickly, many people may see this as the new york taxi drivers versus the uber and lyft lift drivers, but actually the number of uber and lyft drivers are in solidarity, is that right? bhairavi: absolutely. many uber and lyft members have come out in solidarity and some even stayed overnight during late hour shifts. this is a worker issue, a labor ise. fundamentally this is an issue of democracy where in city hall, we have been camped outside the gates. they haven't even had the decency to come and speak to us, even though the city essentially is responsible for this crisis. amy: we want to thk you so
much for being with us, bhairavi desai, new york taxi workers alliance, speaking to us here in new york city. next up, we are going to buffalo to speak with the democratic mayoral candidate india walton. she is a black nurse and mother of four was trying to become the first socialist mayor of a major american city in decades. she won the democratic primary against the four term incumbent, but the new york state democratic party is not supporting her. we will find out why. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
amy: "trickle down" by buffalo, new york's ani di franco, about growing up amidst the looming fear of factory shutdowns in her hometown. this is democracynow! i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. the chair of new york's democratic party is facing calls to resign after he compared buffalo mayoral candidate india walton to former ku klux klan leader david duke. walton shocked the democratic establishment in
june, when she defeated buffalo four-term mayor byron brown in the democratic primary. india walton is a black single mother, a registered nurse, a longtime community activist, and a self-described socialist. but many of the state's top democrats, including governor kathy hocul and senator chuck schumer, are refusing to endorse her in the general election. buffalo mayor byron brown is now running a write-in campaign, in an attempt to stay in office. but she already defeated him. on monday the chair of the state's democratic party jay jacobs was asked by spectrum news about why many democrats are not endorsing walton. >> a very differt scenario wherdavid duke, the grand wizard of the kkk, he moves to nework and bemes the democrat and runs for mayor in the city ofochester, a ki merryurn out and he winshe demratic line i have to endorse david du? i don't think so. of course india walton is
not in the same category but it just leads you to that queson, is it a must? it is not a must. amy: that was jay jacobs, the chair of the new york state democratic committee. he later apologized. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez responded by tweeting quote "jay jacobs absolutely should resign over his disgusting comments comparing a black single mother who won a historic election to david duke. india walton is the democratic nominee for mayor of buffalo. no amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that." aoc will be heading to buffalo on saturday to campaign with india walton. this comes as nearly 2000 nurses at south buffalo's nurse eat -- mercy hospital are on strike, one of many strikes nationwide. with election day less than two weeks away, we go now to buffalo where we are joined by india walton. if she wins in november, she
will be the first mayor of a major american city in decades who identifies as socialist. welcome to democracynow. congratulations on your victory. are you also calling for the head of the state democratic party to resign and talk about what your platform is. india: good morning and thank you for having me. i am hyperocused on the xt week and a half, approximately more than that, in winning t general elecon to let people know that the voters of buffalo are who are calling for a ange in leadership. i thk whatay jacobs said about me is unfortunate and misguidebut i amot focused on that. i don'havenergy or the space in meart for too mu anger becauseight now, i am running for mayor of buffalo as an expression of love. juan: india walton, i wanted
to ask, you e not only a nurse but a union delegate of 1199/seiu. clearly the union movement was a big supporter of urs. how do you react not so much to jay jacobs but the refusal of the democratic party to endorse the candidate who won the primary? india: the way i see this race right now is class struggle. we have thmanagers and leaders against the shop d e woers and as a union delegate, i would often experience that dichotomy. we didn't always agree. the members to not always agree with the leadehip and that's fine and i think i have the benefit and the hor being a boots on the ground organizer who was able to go into neighborods, communities, knock on doors and have conversations with the people who matter, and that is the voters.
it is my hope that established democratic leaders would endorse and support, that is not who i am he for. i am here for the voters of buffalo and i would add that the chair my local party, even thoh they endorsed my opponent in the prary, theyave come on board and theyere true to their word of supporting thdemocrat nonee. my county lislator is in support and my state senator is also in support there are a few people who publiclyupport but more importantly, there a thousands of everyday woing class buffalo natives who will come out to the polls and vote for me on november 2. juan: and you are not only a
longtime labor activist but also involved in affordable housing and as executive director of the -- land trust, can you talk about how your experience in fighting for affordable housing shaped your decision to run for office? india: the community land ust came out of that community'sesire to stay in place, to protect homeowners from he increases in their tax bills as a result of reassessment and rises in rent. the prio admintration had a policy o demolition as a means to combat blight in the community. there were 200 city-owned vacant lots in the neighborhood tt folks really wanted to put to producti use. a growing medical cancer -- crit --
working in theruit belt proved to me that the people who know what they need where they live are posting solutions and expertise, living the life of an everyday person is enough when you can enlist the help of expertsnd professionals and high skilled folks to get the job done. not only that, but approaching the city a trying to purchase land to build affordable housing and seeing how comp catered that ocess was. it was like this is what the community is asking for, we allknow -- very little operation fr the city who had all of thability and the power to help us construct affordable housing for the benefit of the commity. it was really motivang to me to go ahead and run so thate would finay have a
compassionate pathetic ear in the cy hall to wor along with community groups. amy: india walton, this was an amazing victory on your part. you beat the four term democratic incumbent mayor who has launched a write in campaign against you. this reminds me of cori bush who ran for congress, and beat a dynasty that went on for decades. if you could talk about what you think is most different about your candidacy, and also the striking nurses, you are a nurse in buffalo. thousands are out on strike. are you a part of that? india: i oen visit the cket line, i take water an coffee and i support those nurses who are not
only fightg for a fair wage and benefits but fighting for their lives and the lives of people in our counity who deserv to be prioritid over the profits of executives in companies who are bringing home millions of dollars and expecting people who do the work, to work longer hours d suffer. we are facing a nursing shortage all over the country. i am very proud of mcy hospit and cwa and all the solidarityrom other mmunity membe. i am super proud of that. to the first part of your question. amy: your victory against byron brown. you really upset the democratic establishment, and why you think your messageesoned. ina: we were out in e streets last summe
protesting aer the murder of george floyd, and w watched buffalo police push a 75-yr-old mato the ground, bleeding from his ear. theesponsout of r city leadership was n only disappointing, it was embarrassing. theountry watched that on national news, and our mayor this -- dended the actions of his pole department. he totally ignored the ces r justice from protesters, mmunity membe, from our own gornor who compelled him to put in pce reforms in order to get state entitlemts and fding. that was the only reason there was action taken on behalf of the city of buffalo to address our policing issue. those reforms have been lackluster at best. i felt personally like he would ignore thousandsf people in the streets, the
summer before last and that heould also ignore a campaign that was bng speaeaded by those peopl i don't feel like i won the democratic primary. i feel like the city of buffalo wonhe primary because the strategy was to have boots on theround, ople on doors, people having conversations and ving a truly graroots campaign. our campaign has excepd any money from corporations or lobbying groups or large developers. all of our fundraising has been small dlar bass rts from individuals that we believin wt we are -- you truly believe in what we are doing. i have a diverse group of supporters from many countries of origin, across socioeconomic status, gend identi, sexual orientation, educational attament, workinglass,
well-to-do, it has been an honor for m and impreive to see how this campaign ha come together and ntinues to fight over the long haul. weave a little reprieve and a little room to relax but the campaign hakept us ahead and my team has been with me every single step of the way and that is what this campaign is about. amy: bernie sanders called you n the primary? india: he did. i've spoken with him several tis since the primary. amy: your response when he first called? india: i cried. bernie sanders is the person i admire very much and who sort of gave me inspiration to be more involved in local politics. juan: i would like to ask
you quickly about byron brown continuing to try and run as an independent and some of the supporters of him, considering he is still nominally a democrat. could you talk about e far right fr supporters who are backing him? ina: buffalo is 65% democrato anyone who runs a campaign for mayor pretty much has to beemocrat but the values of r current ministration have not display the vals i believe democrats hold whi is putting people and workers and families first, but his campaign is ing supported by members of the republican party and not only that but known local membs of weitzer premises groupsthe judge who placed him back on the ballot was appointed by
45. we kw he is actively colluding with republicans in order to maintain power. amy: can you talk about judge john sinatra and his support of byr brown, the far rit trap appntee i believe u are referencing? india: john sinatra is the brotr of a local developer , one of brown's biggest financial supporters who also was found to ohack city tes in the same cycle the mayor was featured in a promotionideo in suort of him, sthe ties that bind are not very diicult draw. this is something that pretty much every person in buffalo who watches the local news is aware of, but th i how power works.
those with money and power are ab to manipulate the system and skirt the rules but ultimately i believe stice will prevail andn this case, a panel of appellate court justices decided he couldot be on the ballot, so he using a lot of money funded by the realstate lobbies to continue to stoke fear among voters andmear me personally. i don't think it is going to work. amy: india walton, we will continue to follow your race, democrat nominee for mayor of buffalo. if she wins in november, she'll be the first mayor of a major american city in decades, back to 1960, who identifies as a socialist. early voting starts on saturday. that does it for our show, but before we end, i want to give you the last word, juan. juan: i would love to take a moment to not -- i would like to take a moment to a knowledge secret --
considerable criticism we received last week from viewers over comments i made during interview segment on u.s.-china conlate over taiwan. in the prelude to a question, i remarked that taiwan is an integral part of china and always has been, and while taiwan was indeed a province of china for hundreds of years during the imperial era, it is also true that a vibrant movement for taiwanese self-determination and democracy has long existed, one that is independent of great power conflicts. my apologies to the supporters of that movement for failing to recognize that reality in the next time we discussed taiwan, we will be sure to invite experts that can more fully delve into that history. amy: that does it now, for our show, and just a couple things. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for 2 positions for two full-time jobs. director of finance and administration and a human resources manager. you can learn more and apply
at democracynow.org. democracy now! is produced with renee feltz, mike burke, deena guzder, messiah rhodes, nermeen shaikh, maria taracena, tami woronoff, charina nadura, sam alcoff, tey marie astudillo, john hamilton, robby karran, hany massoud and adriano contreras. our general manager is julie crosby. special thanks to becca staley, miriam barnard, paul@aóv