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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 7, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/07/22 06/07/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> the vote in favor of competence of force johnson is 207 votes and against his 148. therefore, i can announced the parliament tripathi does -- parliament tripathi does --
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amy: british prime minister force johnson survives a no-confidence vote, barely. we will get the latest. then we go to uvalde, texas, as funerals continue for the 19 fourth graders and two teachers shot dead two weeks ago. we will speak with texas state senator roland gutierrez. >> no community should have to go thrgh what the people of uvalde had to deal with. families are shattered we need change in texas, in the united states. it is my hope by keeping up this pressure, greg abbott will do the right thing, change the laws so that no family in texas will have to deal with this again. amy: as calls for investigations grow, we will also look at threats to the press in uvalde by journalists try to cover the funerals being blocked by bikers called in by the police. we will speak to nora lopez the san antonio express news, president of the national
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association of hispanic journalists. plus we speak to investigative journalist keri blakinger about her new memoir out today, "corrections in ink" describing her journey from addiction to prison to the newsroom. >> i wrotehis to help humanize prisoners and that second chances are possible and show what the barriers are. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. ukraine's government says more than 40,000 civilians have been killed or wounded in fighting since russia invaded in late february, with some three million ukrainians now living under russian occupation. on monday, president volodymyr zelenskyy said ukrainian forces are continuing to fight pitched battles in the eastern city of severodonetsk, but that his
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troops are outnumbered and losing ground. meanwhile, bombs and shells continue to rain down on rural communities near the front lines. one person was killed and another injured in the town of druzhkivka, where residents woke sunday to the sound of explosions and shattering glass. >> you can see for yourself what happened. what else can i say? i haveeen left homeless in my old age. amy: the united nations is demanding an independent investigation into charges of rape and sexual assault committed by russian soldiers in ukraine. pramila patten, the u.n.'s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, told the u.n. security council monday about multiple shocking reports ranging from gang rape, to coercion, where loved ones are forced to watch an act of sexual violence committed against a partner or a child. european council president charles michel condemned the findings. >> we hear reports, sexual
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violence as -- is a war crime. shameful acts in shameful war. amy: the european council president also said russia was solely responsible for triggering a global food crisis by invading ukraine. the accusations prompted russia's ambassador to the u.n. to storm out of the security council meeting in protest. mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador has confirmed he he will not attend the summit of the americas after the biden administration excluded the governments of cuba, venezuela, and nicaragua. >> i'm not going to the summit because not all the countries of america are invited. i believe in the need to change the policy imposed for centuries of exclusion, of wanting to dominate without any reason and
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not respecting each country's sovereignty and independence. there cannot be assignment of the atlantis if all the american countries do not participate. amy: the summit of the americas opened in los angeles monday. it's the first time it's taking place in the united states since 1994. at the white house, press secretary karine jean-pierre said president biden stood by his decision to exclude cuba, venezuela, and nicaragua. >> we don't believe dictator should be invited so we don't regret that and the president stands by his principal. amy: president biden is still planning a trip to saudi arabia in july to meet with crown prince mohammed bin salman. in immigration news, a caravan of at least 6000 people departed from the southern mexican city of tapachula monday hoping to reach the u.s.-mexico border in search of refuge. many of the caravan members are from venezuela and cuba nations , two that have been deeply impacted by u.s. economic sanctions. the caravan coincides with the start of the summit of the
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americas, where leaders plan to discuss migration. this is caravan organizer luis garcia villagran. >> we tell the leaders we are not anyone's currency. we are not going to with into the mexican commission for refugee assistance decides in our fate in august. we're not quite allow the national institute for migration to take until september to give us a solution. today the free citizens of latin america walked out of this immigration prison that our officials are willing to turn top at let into. amy: in london, british prime minister boris johnson survived a vote of no-confidence held monday by members of his own conservative party. >> the vote in favor of having confidence in boris johnson was 211 votes and the vote against was 148 votes. therefore, i can announced the parliamentary party just have confidence.
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amy: prime minister johnson faced widespread criticism after scotland yard found his government held at least a dozen parts at government buildings including the prime minister's official residence at 10 downing street during the first year of the pandemic in violation of johnson's covid lockdown orders. johnson described the vote as good news for u.k. keir starmer of the opposition labour party reiterated his call for johnson to resign. later in the broadcast, we'll go to u.k. for the latest. back in the united states, house democrats are poised to pass new legislation this week that would raise the legal age of purchase for some semi-automatic rifles to 21, promote safe storage of firearms, and ban the sale of large-capacity magazines. those measures appear doomed in the senate where they would need the support of at least 10 republicans to break a filibuster. on monday, texas republican senator john cornyn said gop senators need at least another week to nail down a bipartisan deal on gun violence.
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this comes amid a steady drumbeat of shootings across the united states. on monday, philadelphia district attorney larry krasner said a weekend mass shooting began when two men licensed to carry firearms traded 17 shots on a street packed with innocent bystanders. three people were killed and 11 others were struck by bullets. krasner called on lawmakers to take action on gun violence immediately. >> any legislator who is not willing to put the lives of innocent bystanders of women and children and young adults about their political future belongs out of office. and i don't care whether they are republican or democrat. amy: here in new york, governor kathy hochul has signed a package of 10 new gun controls. -- gun-control bills. hochul said at a signing ceremony monday the new measures will close loopholes that allowed the buffalo shooter to evade a red flag law that should have prevented him from purchasing the semiautomatic rifles used in last month's
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assault. >> in new york, we are taking full strong action, tightening the red flag laws to keep guns away from dangerous people and we are raising the age of semiautomatic weapons so no 18-year-old can walk in on their birthday and walked out within ar-15. those days are over. amy: governor hochul signed the legislation as the u.s. supreme court nears a ruling on whether to strike down a 108-year-old law making it difficult for new york gun owners to get a permit to carry a firearm outside the home. during oral arguments last november, the court's conservative majority appeared sympathetic to claims that the second amendment guarantees people the right to carry a gun for self-defense. proud boys leader enrique tarrio and four other members of the far-right group have been charged with seditious conspiracy over their roles in the january 6 insurrection at the u.s. capitol. tarrio already faced charges of obstructing congress,
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destruction of government property, and other crimes. this comes just days after proud boys member josh pruitt pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing an official proceeding. pruitt and another man were filmed on january 6 approaching senate majority leader chuck schumer and his security detail inside the capitol visitor's center after forcing their way into the building, prompting senator schumer to run away from them. in texas, progressive challenger jessica cisneros has formally requested a recount in her may runoff election with democratic incumbent congressmember henry cuellar. as of monday, cisneros trailed cuellar by just 187 votes. cuellar is a corporate-backed, anti-choice, pro-gun democrat who has twice declared victory in the race. the fbi raided his home and campaign office in january's part of a corruption investigation. cisneros said in a statement -- "our movement was never just about the one politician -- it was about taking on an unjust
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system that rewards corruption and corporate profits at the expense of the needs of working people." and in brazil, fear is growing over the safety of british journalist dom phillips and bruno pereira, a protector of brazilian indigenous communities after the pair went missing in one of the most remote areas of the amazon early sunday. phillips is a longtime freelance reporter for the guardian and other publications. pereira is a former brazilian government official. the two were last seen while traveling by boat in the northern brazilian state of amazonas near the border with perú. phillips was doing research for a book on the amazon and was in the region to interview indigenous leaders patrolling the area for illegal miners and fishers. pereira had recently received death threats over his work. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by democracy now! co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick,
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new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country d around the world. british prime minister boris johnson has survived a vote of no-confidence held by members of his own conservative party. on monday, conservatives voted 211 to 148 by secret ballot to allow johnson to remain leader of the party. the vote came days after johnson was booed when he arrived at a service to honor the queen's 70-year reign. johnson recently became the first british leader to be sanctioned for breaking the law while in office after a port by scotland yard found johnson's government held at least a dozen parties at the prime minister's official residence during the first year of the pandemic in violation of johnson's covid lockdown orders. on mony night, johnson described the vote as a good news for the u.k. >> i think this is a very good
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result for politics and for the country. in this ins, i think it is a convincing result, decisive revolt -- result. what it means, as a government we can move on and focus on the things that matter to people. amy: for more, we are joined by professor priya gopal at the university of cambridge, author of "insurgent empire: anticolonial resistance & british dissent." welcome back to democracy now! good news for the empire? can you talk about this no-confidence vote? if just 30 mps had voted a different way, he would have gone down. >> yeah, thank you. nice to be back. the significance of this vote is that it is in fact not good news for johnson at all. it is pretty much the first time conservative party has in any way even and it is very divided
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way he johnson to account for what has been a very long record of being quite flexible with the truth and for wrecking ministerial roles -- breaking into of rules. this reflects a blueshift among voters who handed johnson a huge majority at the last elections. he has gone from being seen as a kind of tough on prime minister to someone who is now very vulnerable and his prime ministers ship i think, and is widely agreed, in some danger. this is quite remarkable given how much we have been able to withstand over his 2.5 years in office from multiple charges of dishonesty and misleading the public, cronyism charges over covid contract ministers and family of -- to friends and family of tori ministers,
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suspending parliament, breaking promises over pensions, health, social care, to luxury refurbishments of his official residence. of course, let's not forget, separately hi covid death toll, 170 5000 at last count. for johnson, this is bad news because this is the first time nearly half of his party has wrapped him on the knuckles have basically sent a warning shot across his bows that he is not safe anymore. he might have tried to bluster as usual and call the good news but i think for him it is very bad news. juan: professor, what is your sense of the likelihood of new elections being called or johnson being forced to resign? >> i think it depends. he is safe under current rules
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for at least one year. there was talk about changing the rules to allow for a challenge earlier, but that remains to be seen. i don't think new elections are necessarily on the horizon. what is clear is he has a large number of rebels in the tory ranks. this means any legislation that he tries to put forward may not go through because of dissension from within the tory party. in if it turns out that he isn't able to function, isn't able to put legislation through that he wants to put through, and he may be in a position where he is in deed forced to resign. he is not a lame duck yet, but is in quite a lot of danger of navigable to do the things he wants to do. it remains to be seen how the next weeks and months progress. certainly, prime ministers and
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similar positions, most recently theresa may, even when they survived a no-confidence vote, with even fewer come have not been able to survive very long. so he is not at all in a safe and happy position. juan: speaking of things he still hopes to accomplish, what about his ability now to resolve the situation regarding ireland and the post brexit, the arrangements in terms of ireland both the u.k. and the european union? >> i think that element of brexit is in trouble. johnson's line to his party has been that he got exit done. but in fact, brexit is not done. we are now in a position where britain is likely come if things go as he plans, to the in breach of the withdrawal agreement,
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putting the good friday agreement that brought peace to our lead in great danger. this is by no means resolved. the eu is not going to turn around and simply roll over if the united kingdom withdrawals as johnson is threatening to, unilaterally, from the withdrawal agreement, re-imposing a hard border essentially in ireland. what we're looking at is a mess. that is the kind of thing that one can say about the situation in relation to northern ireland and the republic of ireland. there's a really big problem on hand and it is very far from resolved and brexit is very far from being done. amy: it is particularly incredible seeing the prime minister at these parties at 10 downing street, but let's not forget he almost died of covid himself.
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but i want to end by asking you about the last days in britain. i did not say the last days of britain, for the last taste in britain, just coming off the platinum jubilee celebrations, marking 70 years of the queens rain. we saw the images of boris johnson beingbooed as he came out for the celebration. but the significance of this 70th jubilee, professor, as author of "insurgent empire: anticolonial resistance & british dissent." >> the jubilee is a very interesting event because johnson wasbooed not by leftists but by royalists who had gathered in force outside the cathedral. that was a very telling moment because these are natural serve it if voters who had come out to
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celebrate the monarchy for a conservative prime minister. but the jubilee is telling. we have huge expenditure for four days. some suggest 28 million pounds spent for a reflection at a time when britain is in very deep economic trouble. we have inflation at 10%. we have enormous inequality. we have record numbers of children going hungry, record numbers of working families having to use food banks. we have, essentially, people having to choose between heating and hting. energy prices are fantastically high. this is the situation in which we have chosen to celebrate the wealthy and essentially chosen to celebrate rule by the wealthy
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given huge public expenditure. and of course, around t empire, there was deep dishonesty and it is celebrations. there was no reference to empire, no reference to the troubles and bloodshed from the very beginning of queen elizabeth ii's rule. the jubilee says every thing we need to know about present, so the writing the wealthy while ordinary people are suffering in large numbers. amy: priya gopal, thank you for being with us, university professor in the faculty of english at the university of cambridge and the author of "insurgent empire: anticolonial resistance & british dissent." next up, we go to uvalde, texas, where funerals are continuing for the 19 fourth graders and their two teachers shot dead two weeks ago as calls for investigating -- investigations grow. journalist trying to cover the funerals are being blocked by
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bikers being called in by the police. we will get an update from texas state senator roland gutierrez in the san antonio express news editor nora lopez, head of the national association of hispanic journalists. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "paradise circus" by massive attack featuring hope sandoval. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. funerals are continuing in uvalde, texas, for the 19 fourth graders and two teachers who were shot dead at robb elementary school two weeks ago by an 18-year-old gunman. amanda, funeral was held for eliahna "ellie" garcia. one day after what would have been her 10th birthday. meanwhile, more questions are being raised about how the local police responded to the mass shooting and why they waited over an hour before anyone
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confronted the gunman. one teacher who survived the massacre arnulfo reyes, has , spoken out for the first time. he spoke to abc news from the hospital where he is recovering after being shot twice in the attack. all 11 of his students in his classroom were killed. reyes described hearing one student in a neighboring pleading with police officers in the hallway for help. >> one of the students from e next-door classroom was saying, officer, we are in here, we are in here. but they had already left. he gotp from behind my desk and he walked over there and he shot again. amy: on wednesday, an 11-year-old student who survived the massacre, miah cerrillo, is scheduled to testify in washington, d.c., during a house hearing on gun violence.
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she avoided being murdered by smearing herself with blood from a friend who had been shot dead. we turn now to roland gutierrez. the democratic state senator whose district includes uvalde. state senator, welcome back to democracy now! we wanted to go to what you understand at this point -- i mean, what looks like a clear cover-up. can you talk about your texting back and forth with the head of dps, department of public safety, guaranteeing you would learn about all these officers in the hallway and what happened by last friday. but then being told by him that he has been ordered not to tell you this information. >> yes, amy. first off, thank you for continuing to shed light. it is so very important. i had -- and i still have a good communication with steve mccraw
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on other isss, but unfortunately, as of last iday, he was ordered to not communicate any further reports to me. that order was put in place by the local district attorney who is claiming to have taken over this investigation. mind you, this republican district attorney has a staff of two or three. she has called on four other lawyers from some of the surrounding areas to try to help her with this massive, massive castigation. -- investigation. you mentioned ellie garcia. i went to her viewing on sunday and i find it so compelling. she was shrouded, had a shroud over her. this is the most infamous day in texas' recent history. and what happened on that table remain shrouded as long as greg abbott has it so. we are in this space right now
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in tex where we can get no answers to what happened to why those students waited for 45 minutes for officers to go in. juan: senator, we discussed this previously, this whole issue of the incident commander and it seems most of the blame is being placed on chief arradondo? does it make sense to the department of public safety, the main state of police organization in texas, since her offices were on the scene, would have deferred to a local school police chief in an instance like this? >> it makes no sense to me. they are the superior authority. dps always comes to us when we have meetings, neighborhood meetings and such, and they talked about command and control are the superior force in that area, especially after greg abbott votedo put in $4
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billion on the board over the last year. there was at least, from what i know in my last communication with steve mccraw, at first there were two officers in the hallway. my last phone call he said there was between two and as many as 13. at what point does the superior agency not say, hey, i am taking over here, whether that be the police or the sheriff's department -- excuse me -- or dps? at what point does that not happen? one other thing i find compelling here, again, in our last phone call, i'm told herod ondo did not have his radio given occasions. that has also been reported by "the new york times" independently. if he does not have is radio, how in the world's see the incident commander? who made him the incident commander? does he wear a shirt that says
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incident commander? does he raise his hand? this defies any kind of logic this man was in charge. i hope it comes out, speaks out, tells us the truth. we have heard from the uvalde leader, the newspaper in the area, used a couple of phrases in their editorial the said "officers were frozen." i don't know if there speaking the local police were there you pd, but at some point, i think -- it is my hope that we will be able to start hearing from some of these officers. it is important not to cast blame, but it is iortant to ensure that this doesn't happen again anywhere in texas. and god forbid, that it does. but unfortunately, with the current state of political affairs and the governor that simply does not listen, five massacres has done nothing to change gun laws. unfortunately, we know that it
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will. juan: senator, what do you see as the significance there's a possible grand jury already impaneled here and raising the possibility that some people could be indicted in relation to the situation, other than the actual shooter? >> because we don't know what that means, they raise this possibility, after or folks on social media or cohorts, that is one thing for sure. but it is the law enforcement component, i can understand for the life of me, while public in generaand the community in general and policymakers cannot get the answers of the logistics of what went on in the situational logistics. what i specifically asked for, what i was going to receive on friday that was stymied by the district attorney, was which
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officers were in the hallway. i did not want their identities are no john smith was in the hallway, i wanted to know how many troopers were in there because those troopers are accountable to the state legislature, how many sheriffs deties, howany ifd so i could determine for myself this notion or at least in for the situational control. it is important so that in the future, as steve mccraw told me in one conversation where we were yelling and crying at each other, that this will never happen again. he specifically said dps will no longer stand down. that is compelling and that is nice to say, but i don't think that is what happened here. inferentially, i can tell you i just feel all of these people, including -- just frozen. i can imagine -- and i
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understand that fear. that 45 minutes to them probably went by in 4.5 into those parents it was 45 hours. it was just devastating post of amy: let's not forget, those parents outside trying to get inside, being held back by police, begging for their guns in their shells and said, if you will go in, we will go in. i wanted to ask you state senator roland, on this issue of the state of texas, governor abbott has said he setting up a commission, i assume you were invited to be a part of it -- you were not invited to be part of it though you represent uvalde, you called for not a commission, but a special session. what do you want to see texas pass in terms of gun laws? >> we don't get anywhere with special commissions. roundtables that went round and round and came up with nothing.
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after el paso, sat down and had recommendations. now he is calling for this special commission. listen, there is nothing happening here other than greg abbott bamboozle and the people of the state of texas with the word "special." a special session is a legal term in our statute by which the governor can call us back for a 30 day time period beginning on date certain and ending on a date certain those are the days but which we have to work when we are not in session and we meet in committees, not special committees, but in committees. we take witness testimony, expert testimony, the public's testimony, and then we formulate bills. those bills, like any other state, go to the house and the senate and the governor's desk. without that, the special
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committee is nothing more than a joke that will do nothing. i will be there and ask questions. are they concerned i'm going to politicize it? listen, if we're not talking about guns, then i very well don't see the benefit in it at all. i'd have a meeting my own outside -- might have a meeting on my own outside with folks from sandy hook, colorado, florida. we have to be understand there is this basic figure and that is what kathy hochul did yesterday. an 18 euros should not go into a gun shop on his birthday or the day after and shop for an ar-15, ammo the next day, and then another ar-15 as if he were going to the 7-eleven to buy a slurpee. that is how easy it was for this young man. where's a human red flag of that
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local store saying there's something wrong here? what is wrong is there something wrong in texas because greed has come into play, the nra agreed and store owners greed, greg abbott's greed, absence of leadership on this issue. and republican constituents want to change themselves and he is just not listening. amy: at a church service on the day after the shooting, bella barboza, who is 11 years old, spoke about her friend ellie garcía, who was killed during the massacre at robb elementary school. ellie had been set to celebrate her 10th birthday. >> ellie was a very bright girl. she made a huge impact on the church. she was very kind and very active and very confident. i remember we were painting jars for mother's day and i was washing my off because i did not like it and we were in the restroom and i dropped it.
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she was like, your mom is going to get mad. we were laughing together, looking at the glass on the floor. it was funny. it was shocking because i had faith she wasn't in the other room. when i found out i was like, she is in a better place now. if this happens again, she doesn't have to go to that. amy: "if this happens again." we turn now to look at threads in the media in uvalde, texas. a chronicle reported tweeted what he was reporting, several members of the biker club guardians of the children followed him and surrounded him as he tried to approach a cemetery to meet a photographer. one of the bikers told them they were working with police who asked them to be there. he shared this video of the exchange with police and the
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biker club. >> how are you? >> doing good. >> we are guardians of the children, a nonprofit 5013 c and work for the victims of child abuse, sexual assault, things of that nature. route here to provide a little comfort for the families. let them grieve in peace. we just thought we would come out and help the kids. help the families in need. >> how are you doing today? >> don't bump into me, dude. >> i'm just trying to do my job. are you a police officer? >> we are working with police. >> you're working with police? >> we are here to give the families space and time to grieve. amy: that is just one example of the bikers confronting reporters in uvalde, texas. for more we're joined by nora
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lopez, executive editor of the san antonio express-news. also the president of the national association of hispanic journalists. justike my colleague juan gonzalez was. nor, welcome to democracy now! can you talk about what is happening with the press, the stonewalling? start with these bikers. >> first, thank you, amy, and hi, juan. thank you for inviti on the show to talk about this important topic. as you saw from julian's video, houston chronicle as our sister pape we are both owned by hearst so have reporters and uvalde reporting for both papers most of the incident showed was from thursday when there were a t of motorcyclclubs who were telling us they were there at the request of the police.
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to be entirely honest, we have never been able to confirthat from police themselves. sie tn, actually, i thinkt was stateenator senator gutierrez, but more troubling is the police have continued to also blockccess a basical harass reporters as recently as saturday and sunday. one of my photographers was nfroed by a police offer and these are police officers not even from uvalde. there is about dozenaw enforcement agencies acrs the state who havsent some police officers there to helpecause uvalde is so small. yes, they have been overrun with
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people who wanto come from out of town to pay respects and of course the media. sohe treatment has continued. honestly, it has been -- that are blocking access to get close to the cemetery or tthe churches or to the funeral he. they have set up roadblocks so we can even get within a block away. the motorcycle bikers were physically standing in front of photojournalists, preventing them from being able to get any kind of video or to see anything. it just has been -- it is unprecedented. i have spoken to several reporters, including from spanish-language crime and none of us can ever recall -- spanish-language, and none of us can ever recall being treated in such a managed and are jobs impeded in such a manner.
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it is really extraordinary. juan: i wanted to ask you about a related issue which is how law-enforcement officials have dealt with the spanish-language press and getting out information about this tragedy to the spanish speaking community given the fact uvalde itself is more than 80% latino, the public schools are more than 90% latino, and the entire state of texas of more tha5 million public school students, more than 52% a latinx dissent and yet what has been happening in terms of getting out the word i law-enforcement to the spanish-speaking commuty? >> that very first press conference there was -- they we taking questionand i
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think it was already wrapping up and one of the spanish-language reporters aed, can someone speak to us in spanish? i think at that point they were basically ignored. nobody said anything. they got a lot of criticism on soal media. they're very next dayhen they had a press conference, t first thing theyaid was, "well, we will have somebody available after to speato spanish-language is." i reached out to telemundo and other reporters and they said it s gotten a little t better. they don't have anybody officially, but they have been le to find somofficers who can speak spanish who haveeen able to tell them a little bit. but it is not the same thing a you and i both know as journalists to have those officials who will have the facts aselayed t them to speak to spanish-language. so that is a concern and it is a
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historical concern. spanish-language media gets treated like second-class citizens at these types of events. basically, left on their own to try to find someone who can do a stand up in spanish for them. but they do their job. this is not new to them. it is pretty routine. so they do what they need to do to find the people to talk to them in spanish and help give accurate reports to the public in their own language. juan: in terms of overall police response, the lack of information -- so many days after this tragedy -- as a veteran journalist, have you ever seen such difficulty in terms of getting just a basic fact of what happened and who was there and not having all these corrections constantly
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issued by law enforcement? >> nine. have never se anything like this. i'm a fomer police reporter. i have covered police in dallas, fort worth, san antonio, and i ve never seen a response like this. every day some little new incident comes up thatirectly contradicts what we were initially told. so this is unprecedented. we have never seen anything like this. what really concer me, juan, two things. one, police e actively obstructg us from doing our jobs. as you know,ewsgathing is a constitutional right. so some point, this will cro in official oppression. we are exploring our options with our hearst legal and considering to see if there's any kind of legal options that
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we have. so that is one thing. that is a really serious thing. but then the other thing that is equally concerning is that they are actually blocking people who want to talk to us from talking to us, from talking to the media. so there is a chilling effect going on in uvalde and the residence are saying this and they are now afraid toalk to us as well. i have heard thifrom a couple of reporters who have told me that they have had peoe say i'm goingo get in trouble if i say anything. ihink there was one tv station reported theame, that somebody they know lost eir job. don't have confirmation of that. it is a illing effect thats going in uvalde. amy: didn't the mom who was handcuffed try to get her kids out of the school, handcuffed by police, say that afterwards she
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got a phone call that if she kept repeating this, that she would be arrested? >> yes. they are saying the same thing to the media. we are walking on a public street or standing on a public sidewalk and th are telling usyou need to move, this is private property. we are le, no, thiis a blic street. ey are saying, we' going to arrest you. we say, what is the charge? they tell us something vague like, we' protecting the privacy of t familie it is a reallytrange charge something that is not on the books that i am aware of. it is a chilling effect. make noistake, the san antonio express is not going to pull out. we are the big city paper that is closest. just as we did what we cered
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-- we will remain there for th long haul. these people deserve to have her story told. we do not with this tragedy to just be swept under e rug. there needs to be shine a light on what happened here a there is so much that we don't know. so much that we don't know. and because nora lopez, thank you for being with us now and being out there with your reporters. executive editor of the san antonio express-news. also president of the national association of hispanic journalists. next up, we speak to investigative journalist keri blakinger about her new memoir out today "corrections in ink" describing her journey from addiction to prin to the newsroom. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "everybody loves the sunshine" by roy ayers ubiquity. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we end today's show with a national broadcast exclusive
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with one of the leading criminal justice reporters in the country whose new memoir is out today. describes her journey from addiction to prison to the newsroom. keri blakinger is an investigative journalist based in houston, texas, where she covers criminal justice and injustice for the marshall project. she is the organization's first formerly incarcerated reporter. her book "corrections in ink" details her path from aspiring professional figure skater to when she struggled and turned to drugs at age 17 and ultimately landed in prison aer she was arrested with six ounces of heroin in her final semester of her senior year at cornell university in ithaca, new york. keri blakinger, welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. congratulations on the publication of your book. >> thank you for having me. amy: i want to start start
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there. before we talk about your time in prison and how it shaped your reporting, talk about your arrest in 2010 and the charges you faced. >> one of the things that i think a lot about in terms of that arrest and how that all laid out is how differently that could have gone if it was just a few years earlier. i got arrested in 2010, just after they repealed the rockefeller drug laws. they got repealed between 2004 and 2009. by the time i got arrested, i was able to get a sentence of 2.5 years and ended up serving 21 months. had i been arrested a few years earlier, i would have gotten 15 to life and i would still be in prison and not even eligible for parole yet. i think about that a lot when i think about the day i got arrested. juan: keri, i wanted to ask you,
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in your book you talk quite extensively and very eloquently about the conditions that women face in prison. strangely enough, about the availability of drugs, the thing you are arrested and jailed for within the prison, and also the abuse of solitary confinement? could you talk about those things? >> i think one of the things that a lot of people think -- i mean, even now i people sing it to me, you can send someone to present and at least they will get claim, get off drugs because there will be drugs. that is not true. i think a lot of people still don't know that. i could get heroin delivered to my bedside in prison. when people stay off drugs behind bars, that also takes effort in a way i don't think people appreciate. throwing someone in jail or prison is no guarantee they are forced to stay off drugs. amy: keri, your time in prison,
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the description -- the darkness of this period in your life, if you can talk about how you got the drugs in and then the guards for well knowing that you were completely out of it, you work drugged out. >> yeah. when i got arrested, i have a lot of drugs on me and i had semi-ended up bringing in with me into the jail. i think was pretty apparent i was quite high those first few days but i don't think they necessarily knew what to do. i was so out of it, at 1.i remember them discussing whether i really needed to be taken to court. i was also lucky because after i came off those drugs, that was a gel at that time that had something that is used to help treat opioid addiction and it is
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usually used long-term to help prevent relapse and prevent cravings and overdose. they did not offer it long-term but they did at least offer it short-term. i know a lot of people will think a drug that can help minimize the pain of detox is just coddling addicts. i hear this a lot. but i think -- it was important for me because that meant i wasn't trying to find drugs when there were drugs available. i wasn't trying to continue getting high behind bars. i had a little clarity in those first few weeks after my arrest to help make really important decisions about whether to stay off drugs, about what i wanted to do legally. i think having that helped ease detox was a lifesaver for me. amy: you have a new piece out headlined "why we didn't celebrate gay pride month in women's prison." women's prison was one of the most clearest place i have ever
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been and one of the most homophobic. explain the disparity. >> first of all, just on a base level, the only place i've ever been where you would actually be punished with torture, with solitary confinement for acting out on anything gay, on anything same-sex because it wasn't just sexist, it is that you can't touch other prisoners, you can't hug, you can't stroke someone's hair. this is technically against the rules. that is only place i have lived where that is ever punishable. but there was also this undercurrent in the culture i think of some sort of, i don't know, institutionalized bigotry in some ways. what we called it when you got in trouble for any same-sex interaction was a dg, short for degenerative act. that was not the official name but that is what the staff and prisoners called it. i think is has so much about how
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they and the saw that. juan: keri, once you got out of prison, were able to get a second chance, graduate from college, became an investigative reporter. could you talk about that transition and why you had that opportunity but many others don't? >> sure. i think that is one of the really important things about this book. on the one hand i want to give hope to people who were inside to see it is possible to have second chances, but also important for people to understand, people on outside understand what the barriers are and why not everyone ends up with my success story. a lot of that is the racial and class privilege issue that you are well are of. i think one of the ways that it is really important understand how it plays out in a story like mine is sort of cumulative.
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over the years. for instance, by the time i got arrested, i had some interactions with police over the years that could have gone very differently if i were black or brown. so many times when it was clearly doing things that were suspicious that could have a result in a longer criminal record so by the time i actually got arrested in 2010, i might've had far more priors and qualified for a much harsher sentence, do longer, gone to prison where black and brown people are more likely to get tickets that send them to solitary and less likely to make parole come into doing more time, spent more time away from the community and my family. and by the time i got out, it would've been that much harder to reintegrate before facing all of the same systemic barriers that exist for black and brown people on the outside. juan: could you talk about how your experience as informed and propelled you to cover criminal justice issues, especially now with the marshall project? >> sure.
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i think, first of all, i think it has given me a starting point of understanding that people in prison are people. i think that might sound obvious, but very commonly, people sort of think of prisoners as faceless numbers. it is really hard to actually have lots of meaningful interactions with prisoners. prisons are in here really hard to get in. access is limited. just having that starting point has given me the perspective that there are other things about prisoners that are worth covering. i think that has made a big difference. i also think there is a lot of prisoners who have been more willing to speak to me because they know i know that. they know i come from a starting point of seeing th as human. amy: finally, keri, dentures. we have one minute. why are denture so important? >> well, i think it is a body
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part. on a base level, this is a body part that many prisons were not giving to prisoners. having them can be so important in terms of confidence and just feeling like you're being treated like a person but also in terms of reentry. coming out and looking as employable as possible. amy: explain what you did. >> in texas prisons, they been routinely denying dentures to toothless prisoners. they would take the food and put it in blender and pour it a cup. i investigated this for almost a year and wrote a story about it. afterwards, texas prison systems but a 3d printer to start 3d printing dentures for prisoners. amy: keri blakinger, this book is astounding. keri, investigative reporter in texas covering criminal justice and injustice for the marshall project.
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her new memoir "corrections in ink." we will continue part two on and also linked to her columns online. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 6ooooooo7ú oñoñoñoñoñoñ f
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